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  • Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics x
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Alexander G. Weil, John Ragheb, Toba N. Niazi and Sanjiv Bhatia

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Alexander G. Weil, Andrew L. Middleton, Toba N. Niazi, John Ragheb and Sanjiv Bhatia

OBJECT

Operations on tumors of the posteromedial temporal (PMT) region, that is, on those arising from the posterior parahippocampal, fusiform, and lingual gyri, are challenging to perform because of the deep-seated location of these tumors between critical cisternal neurovascular structures and the adjacent temporal and occipital cortexes. Traditional surgical approaches require temporal or occipital transgression, retraction, or venous sacrifice. These approaches may result in unintended complications that should be avoided. To avoid these complications, the supracerebellar-transtentorial (SCTT) approach to this region has been used as an effective alternative treatment in adult patients. The SCTT approach uses a sitting position that offers a direct route to the posterior fusiform and lingual gyri of the temporal lobe. The authors report the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of this approach, using a modified lateral park-bench position in a small cohort of pediatric patients.

METHODS

The authors carried out a retrospective case review of 5 consecutive patients undergoing a paramedian SCTT approach between 2009 and 2014 at the authors' institution.

RESULTS

The SCTT approach in the park-bench position was used in 3 boys and 2 girls with a mean age of 7.8 years (range 13 months to 16 years). All patients presented with a seizure disorder related to a tumor in a PMT region involving the parahippocampal and fusiform gyri of the left (n = 3) or right (n = 2) temporal lobe. No procedure-related complications were observed. Gross-total resection and control of seizures were achieved in all cases. Tumor classes and types included 1 Grade II astrocytoma, 1 pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma, 1 ganglioglioma, and 2 glioneural tumors. None of the tumors had recurred by the mean follow-up of 22 months (range 1–48 months). Outcomes of epileptic seizures were excellent, with seizure symptoms in all 5 patients scoring in Engel Class IA.

CONCLUSIONS

The SCTT approach represents a viable option when resecting tumors in this region, providing a reasonable working corridor and low morbidity. The authors' experience in a cohort of pediatric patients demonstrates that complete resection of the lesions in this location is feasible and is safe when involving an approach that involves using a park-bench lateral positioning.

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Anna Lo Presti, Alexander G. Weil and John Ragheb

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Anna Lo Presti, Alexander G. Weil, Aria Fallah, Eric C. Peterson, Toba N. Niazi and Sanjiv Bhatia

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an autosomal recessive hematological disorder, characterized by sickling of the red blood cells in response to a hypoxic stress and vaso-occlusive crises. It is associated with moyamoya-like changes on cerebral angiographic imaging in 43% of patients. Cerebral aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, and dural arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) have been described in association with SCD and moyamoya disease. However, the description of a pial AVF (pAVF) in a patient with SCD and/or moyamoya formation has not yet been reported. The authors present the case of a 15-year-old boy with SCD-associated moyamoya disease harboring a pAVF who developed a de novo venous aneurysm 8 months after undergoing indirect superficial temporal artery-middle cerebral artery (MCA) bypass that was complicated by bilateral ischemia of the MCA territory. The pAVF was successfully treated with transarterial embolization using Onyx. The authors describe the possible pathophysiological mechanisms and management strategies for this rare occurrence.

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Aria Fallah, Alexander G. Weil, Samir Sur, Ian Miller, Prasanna Jayakar, Glenn Morrison, Sanjiv Bhatia and John Ragheb

OBJECT

Pediatric brain tumors may be associated with medically intractable epilepsy for which surgery is indicated. The authors sought to evaluate the efficacy of epilepsy surgery for seizure control in pediatric patients with brain tumors.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of consecutive patients undergoing resective epilepsy surgery related to pediatric brain tumors at Miami Children’s Hospital between June 1986 and June 2014. Time-to-event analysis for seizure recurrence was performed; an “event” was defined as any seizures that occurred following resective epilepsy surgery, not including seizures and auras in the 1st postoperative week. The authors analyzed several preoperative variables to determine their suitability to predict seizure recurrence following surgery.

RESULTS

Eighty-four patients (47 males) with a mean age (± standard deviation) of 8.7 ± 5.5 years (range 0.5–21.6 years) were included. The study included 39 (46%) patients with gliomas, 20 (24%) with dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumors (DNETs), 14 (17%) with gangliogliomas, and 11 (13%) with other etiologies. Among the patients with gliomas, 18 were classified with low-grade glioma, 5 had oligodendroglioma, 6 had uncategorized astrocytoma, 3 had pilocytic astrocytoma, 3 had pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma, 3 had glioblastoma, and 1 had gliomatosis cerebri. Seventy-nine (94.0%) resections were guided by intraoperative electrocorticography (ECoG). The mean time (± standard deviation) to seizure recurrence was 81.8 ± 6.3 months. Engel Class I outcome was achieved in 66 (78%) and 63 (75%) patients at 1 and 2 years’ follow-up, respectively. Patients with ganglioglioma demonstrated the highest probability of long-term seizure freedom, followed by patients with DNETs and gliomas. In univariate analyses, temporal location (HR 1.75, 95% CI 0.26–1.27, p = 0.171) and completeness of resection (HR 1.69, 95% CI 0.77–3.74, p = 0.191) demonstrated a trend toward a longer duration of seizure freedom.

CONCLUSIONS

ECoG-guided epilepsy surgery for pediatric patients with brain tumors is highly effective. Tumors located in the temporal lobe and those in which a complete ECoG-guided resection is performed may result in a greater likelihood of long-term seizure freedom.

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Adil Harroud, Alexander G. Weil, Jean Turgeon, Claude Mercier and Louis Crevier

OBJECT

A major challenge in sagittal craniosynostosis surgery is the high transfusion rate (50%–100%) related to blood loss in small pediatric patients. Several approaches have been proposed to prevent packed red blood cell (PRBC) transfusion, including endoscopic surgery, erythropoietin ortranexamic acid administration, and preoperative hemodilution. The authors hypothesized that a significant proportion of postoperative anemia observed in pediatric patients is actually dilutional. Consequently, since 2005, at CHU Sainte-Justine, furosemide has been administered to correct the volemic status and prevent PRBC transfusion. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of postoperative furosemide administration on PRBC transfusion rates.

METHODS

This was a retrospective study of 96 consecutive patients with sagittal synostosis who underwent surgery at CHU Sainte-Justine between January 2000 and May 2012. The mean age at surgery was 4.9 ± 1.5 months (range 2.8–8.7 months). Patients who had surgery before 2005 constituted the control group. Those who had surgery in 2005 or 2006 were considered part of an implementation phase because furosemide administration was not routine. Patients who had surgery after 2006 were part of the experimental (or furosemide) group. Transfusion rates among the 3 groups were compared. The impact of furosemide administration on transfusion requirement was also measured while accounting for other variables of interest in a multiple logistic regression model.

RESULTS

The total transfusion rate was significantly reduced in the furosemide group compared with the control group (31.3% vs 62.5%, respectively; p = 0.009), mirroring the decrease in the postoperative transfusion rate between the groups (18.3% vs 50.0%, respectively; p = 0.003). The postoperative transfusion threshold remained similar throughout the study (mean hemoglobin 56.0 g/dl vs 60.9 g/dl for control and furosemide groups, respectively; p = 0.085). The proportion of nontransfused patients with recorded hemoglobin below 70 g/dl did not differ between the control and furosemide groups (41.7% vs 28.6%, respectively; p = 0.489). Surgical procedure, preoperative hemoglobin level, estimated blood loss, and furosemide administration significantly affected the risk of receiving a postoperative PRBC transfusion. When these variables were analyzed in a multiple logistic regression model, furosemide administration remained strongly associated with a reduced risk of being exposed to a blood transfusion (OR 0.196, p = 0.005). There were no complications related to furosemide administration.

CONCLUSIONS

A significant part of the postoperative anemia observed in patients who underwent sagittal craniosynostosis surgery was due to hypervolemic hemodilution. Correction of the volemic status with furosemide administration significantly reduces postoperative PRBC transfusion requirements in these patients.

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Alexander G. Weil, Aria Fallah, Parthasarathi Chamiraju, John Ragheb and Sanjiv Bhatia

OBJECT

Combining endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) with choroid plexus cauterization (CPC) has been shown to improve the success rate compared with ETV alone in infants (less than 24 months) with hydrocephalus who were treated in developing countries. The authors sought to evaluate the safety and efficacy of this procedure, using a rigid neuroendoscope, in a single North American center, and to assess whether the ETV success score (ETVSS), the CURE Children’s Hospital of Uganda ETVSS (CCHU ETVSS), and other pre- and intraoperative variables could predict success.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of consecutive ETV/CPC procedures performed using a rigid neuroendoscope to treat infantile hydrocephalus. The infants underwent the procedure at Miami Children’s Hospital between January 2007 and 2014, with at least one postoperative follow-up. Duration of follow-up or time to failure of ETV/CPC, the primary outcome measure, was documented. A repeat CSF diversion procedure or death was considered as a failure of ETV/CPC. The time to event was measured using a Kaplan-Meier analysis. The authors analyzed ETVSS, CCHU ETVSS, and pre- and intraoperative variables to determine their suitability to predict success.

RESULTS

Eighty-five patients (45 boys) with a mean age of 4.3 months (range 1 day to 20 months) underwent ETV/CPC. Etiology included intraventricular hemorrhage of prematurity in 44 patients (51.7%), myelomeningocele (MMC) in 7 (8.2%), congenital aqueductal stenosis in 12 (14.1%), congenital communicating hydrocephalus in 6 (7.1%), Dandy-Walker complex in 6 (7.1%), postinfectious hydrocephalus in 5 (5.8%), and other cause in 5 (5.8%). Six procedure-related complications occurred in 5 (5.8%) patients, including 2 hygromas, 1 CSF leak, and 3 infections. There were 3 mortalities in this cohort. ETV/CPC was successful in 42.1%, 37.7%, and 36.8% of patients at 6, 12, and 24 months follow-up, respectively. The median (95% CI) time to ETV/CPC failure was 4.0 months (0.9–7.1 months). In univariate analyses, both the ETVSS (hazard ratio [HR] 1.03; 95% CI 1.01–1.05; p = 0.004) and CCHU ETVSS (HR 1.48; 95% CI 1.04–2.09; p = .028) were predictive of outcome following ETV/CPC. In multivariate analysis, the presence of prepontine scarring was associated with ETV/CPC failure (HR 0.34; 95% CI 0.19–0.63; p < 0.001). Other variables, such as radiological criteria (prepontine interval, prepontine space, aqueductal stenosis, Third Ventricular Morphology Index) and intraoperative findings (ventriculostomy pulsations, extent of CPC), did not predict outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

ETV/CPC is a feasible alternative to ETV and ventriculoperitoneal shunt in infants with hydrocephalus. Both the ETVSS and CCHU ETVSS predicted success following ETV/CPC in this single-center North American cohort of patients.

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Alexander G. Weil, Aria Fallah, Evan C. Lewis and Sanjiv Bhatia

OBJECTIVE

Insular lobe epilepsy (ILE) is an under-recognized cause of extratemporal epilepsy and explains some epilepsy surgery failures in children with drug-resistant epilepsy. The diagnosis of ILE usually requires invasive investigation with insular sampling; however, the location of the insula below the opercula and the dense middle cerebral artery vasculature renders its sampling challenging. Several techniques have been described, ranging from open direct placement of orthogonal subpial depth and strip electrodes through a craniotomy to frame-based stereotactic placement of orthogonal or oblique electrodes using stereo-electroencephalography principles. The authors describe an alternative method for sampling the insula, which involves placing insular depth electrodes along the long axis of the insula through the insular apex following dissection of the sylvian fissure in conjunction with subdural electrodes over the lateral hemispheric/opercular region. The authors report the feasibility, advantages, disadvantages, and role of this approach in investigating pediatric insular-opercular refractory epilepsy.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of all children (< 18 years old) who underwent invasive intracranial studies involving the insula between 2002 and 2015.

RESULTS

Eleven patients were included in the study (5 boys). The mean age at surgery was 7.6 years (range 0.5–16 years). All patients had drug-resistant epilepsy as defined by the International League Against Epilepsy and underwent comprehensive noninvasive epilepsy surgery workup. Intracranial monitoring was performed in all patients using 1 parasagittal insular electrode (1 patient had 2 electrodes) in addition to subdural grids and strips tailored to the suspected epileptogenic zone. In 10 patients, extraoperative monitoring was used; in 1 patient, intraoperative electrocorticography was used alone without extraoperative monitoring. The mean number of insular contacts was 6.8 (range 4–8), and the mean number of fronto-parieto-temporal hemispheric contacts was 61.7 (range 40–92). There were no complications related to placement of these depth electrodes. All 11 patients underwent subsequent resective surgery involving the insula.

CONCLUSIONS

Parasagittal transinsular apex depth electrode placement is a feasible alternative to orthogonally placed open or oblique-placed stereotactic methodologies. This method is safe and best suited for suspected unilateral cases with a possible extensive insular-opercular epileptogenic zone.

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Alexander G. Weil, Ngoc Minh D. Le, Prasanna Jayakar, Trevor Resnick, Ian Miller, Aria Fallah, Michael Duchowny and Sanjiv Bhatia

OBJECTIVE

Seizure onset in the insular cortex as a cause of refractory epilepsy is underrepresented in the pediatric population, possibly due to difficulties localizing seizure onset in deep anatomical structures and limited surgical access to the insula, a complex anatomical structure with a rich overlying vascular network. Insular seizure semiology may mimic frontal, temporal, or parietal lobe semiology, resulting in false localization, incomplete resection, and poor outcome.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of all pediatric patients who underwent insular cortical resections for intractable epilepsy at Miami Children's Hospital from 2009 to 2015. Presurgical evaluation included video electroencephalography monitoring and anatomical/functional neuroimaging. All patients underwent excisional procedures utilizing intraoperative electrocorticography or extraoperative subdural/depth electrode recording.

RESULTS

Thirteen children (age range 6 months–16 years) with intractable focal epilepsy underwent insular-opercular resection. Seven children described symptoms that were suggestive of insular seizure origin. Discharges on scalp EEG revealed wide fields. Four patients were MRI negative (i.e., there were no insular or brain abnormalities on MRI), 4 demonstrated insular signal abnormalities, and 5 had extrainsular abnormalities. Ten patients had insular involvement on PET/SPECT. All patients underwent invasive investigation with insular sampling; in 2 patients resection was based on intraoperative electrocorticography, whereas 11 underwent surgery after invasive EEG monitoring with extraoperative monitoring. Four patients required an extended insular resection after a failed initial surgery. Postoperatively, 2 patients had transient hemiplegia. No patients had new permanent neurological deficits. At the most recent follow-up (mean 43.8 months), 9 (69%) children were seizure free and 1 had greater than 90% seizure reduction.

CONCLUSIONS

Primary insular seizure origin should be considered in children with treatment-resistant focal seizures that are believed to arise within the perisylvian region based on semiology, widespread electrical field on scalp EEG, or insular abnormality on anatomical/functional neuroimaging. There is a reasonable chance of seizure freedom in this group of patients, and the surgical risks are low.

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Walter J. Jermakowicz, Alexander G. Weil, Artyom Vlasenko, Sanjiv Bhatia and Toba N. Niazi

Cognard Type V dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) are a unique type of cranial vascular malformation characterized by congestion of the perimedullary venous system that may lead to devastating spinal cord pathology if left untreated. The authors present the first known case of a pediatric patient diagnosed with a Type V dAVF. A 14-year-old girl presented with a 3-week history of slowly progressive unilateral leg weakness that quickly progressed to bilateral leg paralysis, sphincter dysfunction, and complete sensory loss the day of her presentation. MRI revealed an extensive T2 signal change in the cervical spine and tortuous perimedullary veins along the entire length of the cord. An emergency cranial angiogram showed a Type V dAVF fed by the posterior meningeal artery with drainage into the perimedullary veins of the cervical spine. The fistula was not amenable to embolization because vascular access was difficult; therefore, the patient underwent urgent suboccipital craniotomy and ligation of the arterialized venous drainage from the fistula. The patient’s clinical course immediately reversed; she had a complete recovery over the course of a year, and she remains asymptomatic at the 2-year follow-up. This report adds to a growing body of evidence that describes the diverse and unpredictable nature of Type V dAVFs and highlights the need to obtain a cranial angiogram in pediatric patients with unexplained myelopathy and cervical cord T2 signal change on MRI.