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Kent J. Kilbourn, Nathan K. Leclair, Jonathan E. Martin, Markus J. Bookland, Inam U. Kureshi, Ketan R. Bulsara, and David S. Hersh
Nathan K. Leclair, William A. Lambert, Joshua Knopf, Petronella Stoltz, David S. Hersh, Jonathan E. Martin, and Markus J. Bookland
Craniosynostosis is a congenital disorder resulting from the premature fusion of cranial sutures in the infant skull. This condition results in significant cosmetic deformity and can impede neurodevelopment, if left untreated. Currently, rates of craniometric change following minimally invasive surgery have only been examined for sagittal craniosynostosis. A better understanding of postoperative skull adaptations in other craniosynostosis subtypes is needed to objectively categorize surgical outcomes and guide length of cranial orthosis therapy.
Eleven patients with sagittal and 8 with metopic craniosynostosis treated using endoscopic strip craniectomy and postoperative helmet orthoses were retrospectively reviewed. Using semiautomated image analysis of top-down orthogonal 2D photographs, the following craniometrics were recorded before surgery and at postoperative visits: cephalic index (CI), cranial vault asymmetry index (CVAI), anterior arc angle (AAA), posterior arc angle (PAA), anterior-middle width ratio (AMWR), anterior-posterior width ratio (APWR), left-right height ratio (LRHR), sagittal Hu moment (Sag-Hu), and brachycephaly Hu moment (Brachy-Hu). These craniometrics were then normalized to photograph-based measurements of normocephalic patients and the rates of change between metopic and sagittal craniosynostoses were compared.
Patients with sagittal craniosynostosis exhibited significantly lower CI, lower PAA, higher AMWR, higher APWR, lower Sag-Hu, and higher Brachy-Hu preoperatively compared to patients with normocephalic craniosynostosis. Patients with metopic craniosynostosis exhibited lower AAA and AMWR preoperatively compared to normocephalic subjects. Sagittal and metopic patients had a rapid initial change in normalized CI or AAA, respectively. Craniometric rates of change that significantly differed between metopic and sagittal patients were found in AAA (p < 0.001), AMWR (p < 0.001), and APWR (p < 0.0001). Metopic patients had a prolonged AAA change with a significantly different rate of change up to 6 months postoperatively (median at 3 months = 0.027 normalized units/day, median at 6 months = 0.017 normalized units/day, and median at > 6 months = 0.007 normalized units/day), while sagittal CI rate of change at these time points was not significantly different.
Patients with metopic craniosynostosis have a prolonged rate of change compared to patients with sagittal craniosynostosis and may benefit from longer helmet use and extended postoperative follow-up. Categorizing craniometric changes for other craniosynostosis subtypes will be important for evaluating current treatment guidelines.
Mitch R. Paro, William A. Lambert, Nathan K. Leclair, Arijit R. Chakraborty, Sophia Angelo, Benjamin Pesante, Petronella Stoltz, Jonathan E. Martin, Markus J. Bookland, and David S. Hersh
Telemedicine can be an effective tool for the evaluation of the pediatric patient with a cranial deformity, but it increases the reliance of neurosurgical providers on data provided by patients and families. Family-acquired photographs, in particular, can be used to augment the evaluation of pediatric head shape abnormalities via telemedicine, but photographs of sufficient quality are necessary. Here, the authors systematically reviewed the quality and utility of family-acquired photographs for patients referred to their pediatric neurosurgery clinic for telemedicine-based head shape evaluations.
All telemedicine encounters that were completed for head shape abnormalities at the authors’ institution between May 2020 and December 2021 were retrospectively reviewed. Instructions were sent to families prior to each visit with examples of ideal photographs. Three orthogonal views of the patient’s head—frontal, lateral, and vertex—were requested. Data were collected regarding demographics, diagnosis, follow-up, and photograph quality. Quality variables included orthogonality of each requested view, appropriate distance, appropriate lighting, presence of distracting elements, and whether hair obscured the head shape.
Overall, 565 patients had 892 visits during the study period. A total of 1846 photograph requests were made, and 3335 photographs were received for 829 visits. Of 2676 requested orthogonal views, 1875 (70%) were received. Of these, 1826 (97%) had adequate lighting, 1801 (96%) had appropriate distance, and 1826 (97%) had no distracting features. Hair did not obscure the head shape on the vertex view in 557 visits with orthogonal vertex views (82%). In-person follow-up was requested for further medical evaluation in 40 visits (5%).
The family-acquired photographs in this series demonstrated high rates of adequate lighting and distance, without distracting features. Lack of orthogonality and obscuration of the head shape by hair, however, were more common issues. Family education prior to the visit may improve the quality of family-acquired photographs but requires an investment of time by medical staff. Efforts to further improve photographic quality will facilitate efforts to perform craniometric evaluations through telemedicine visits.
Nathan K. Leclair, Joshua Chern, Edward S. Ahn, Megan Chamis, Mitch R. Paro, William A. Lambert, Petronella Stoltz, David S. Hersh, Jonathan E. Martin, and Markus J. Bookland
Quantitative measurements of trigonocephaly can be used to characterize and track this phenotype, which is associated with metopic craniosynostosis. Traditionally, trigonocephaly metrics were extracted from CT scans; however, this method exposes patients to ionizing radiation. Three-dimensional optical scans are another option but are not routinely available in most outpatient settings. Recently, the authors developed semiautomated artificial intelligence algorithms that extract craniometric data from orthogonal 2D photographs. Although 2D photographs are safe, inexpensive, and straightforward to obtain, the accuracy of photograph-based craniometrics in comparison to CT and 3D optical scan correlates has not been established. In this study the authors compared the classification power of 2D photograph–based metrics of trigonocephaly with four CT-based metrics and one 3D optical scan–based metric in a heterogeneous series of patients who presented to an outpatient craniofacial clinic.
In this study the authors performed retrospective craniometric analyses of patient 2D photographs, 3D optical scans, and CT scans. Imaging-derived craniometrics include the 2D photograph–based anterior arc angle (AAA2D-photo), anterior-posterior ratio (APR2D-photo), and anterior-middle ratio (AMR2D-photo); the CT-based anterior arc angle (AAACT), metopic index (MICT), endocranial-bifrontal angle (eBFACT), and interfrontal angle (IFACT); and the 3D optical scan–based anterior arc angle (AAA3D-optical). Receiver operating characteristics (ROCs) were used to identify craniometrics strongly descriptive of trigonocephaly. Interrater comparisons were made between paired trigonocephaly measurements obtained from photographs and either CT scans or 3D optical scans.
There were 13 photograph-based and CT-based pairs and 22 paired measurements from 2D photographs and 3D optical scans. AAA displayed the strongest classification capacity across all three imaging modalities. Significant agreement was observed between AAACT and AAA2D-photo (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] = 0.68 [95% CI 0.24–0.89], p = 0.0035), and AAA3D-optical and AAA2D-photo (ICC = 0.70 [95% CI 0.41–0.87], p < 0.0001). There was no significant correlation between APR2D-photo or AMR2D-photo and conventional CT-based metrics describing longitudinal width ratios (MICT).
Photograph-based craniometrics are powerful tools that can be used to quantify the severity of trigonocephaly and exhibit high concordance with standard measurements derived from CT scans and 3D optical scans. The authors developed and freely share a research-use application to calculate trigonocephaly metrics from 2D photographs. Given the availability of digital photography, lack of ionizing radiation, and low cost of photograph-based craniometric derivation, this technique may be useful to supplement routine ambulatory care and objectively track outcomes following treatment.
Nathan K. Leclair, William Lambert, Kimberley Roche, Eileen Gillan, Joanna J. Gell, Ching C. Lau, Gregory Wrubel, Joshua Knopf, Shirali Amin, Megan Anderson, Jonathan E. Martin, Markus J. Bookland, and David S. Hersh
Pediatric low-grade gliomas (pLGGs) frequently exhibit dysregulation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. Targeted therapies, including mutant BRAF inhibitors (dabrafenib) and MEK inhibitors (trametinib), have shown promise in patients in whom conventional chemotherapy has failed. However, few studies have investigated the use of targeted therapy as a first-line treatment for pLGG. Here, the authors reviewed their institutional experience with using a personalized medicine approach to patients with newly diagnosed pLGGs.
All pediatric patients at the authors’ institution who had been treated with dabrafenib or trametinib for pLGG without first receiving conventional chemotherapy or radiation were retrospectively reviewed. Demographic, clinical, and radiological data were collected.
Eight patients underwent targeted therapy as a first-line treatment for pLGG. Five patients had a BRAF alteration (1 with a BRAF V600E mutation, 4 with a KIAA1549:BRAF fusion), and 3 patients had an NF1 mutation. One of the 8 patients was initially treated with dabrafenib, and trametinib was added later. Seven patients were initially treated with trametinib; of these, 2 later transitioned to dual therapy, whereas 5 continued with trametinib monotherapy. Six patients (75%) demonstrated a partial response to therapy during their treatment course, whereas stable disease was identified in the remaining 2 patients (25%). One patient experienced mild disease progression after completing a course of trametinib monotherapy, but ultimately stabilized after a period of close observation. Another patient experienced tumor progression while on dabrafenib, but subsequently responded to dual therapy with dabrafenib and trametinib. The most common adverse reactions to targeted therapy were cutaneous toxicity (100%) and diarrhea (50%).
Targeted therapies have the potential to become a standard treatment option for pLGG due to their favorable toxicity profile and oral route of administration. This case series provides preliminary evidence that targeted therapies can induce an early disease response as a first-line adjuvant treatment; however, large-scale studies are required to assess long-term durability and safety.