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Erratum. Results of more than 20 years of follow-up in pediatric patients with moyamoya disease undergoing pial synangiosis

Edward R. Smith

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Editorial: Noninvasive biomarkers: are we there yet?

Jeffrey Ojemann

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Spontaneous occlusion of the circle of Willis in children: pediatric moyamoya summary with proposed evidence-based practice guidelines

A review

Edward R. Smith and R. Michael Scott

Moyamoya is a progressive arteriopathy of unknown origin affecting the branches of the internal carotid artery (ICA). The arteriopathy can present as an isolated medical condition, affecting both sides of the brain (“moyamoya disease”) or can be unilateral or found in association with systemic disorders (“moyamoya syndrome”). The ischemia resulting from luminal narrowing predisposes children to transient ischemic attacks and stroke—the primary presentations of affected patients. Although it is rare—affecting 1 in 1 million children in the US—moyamoya is implicated in 6% of all childhood strokes. Diagnosis is defined by characteristic findings on arteriograms, including stenosis of the branches of the ICA and a pathognomonic spray of small collateral vessels in this region, descriptively likened to a “puff of smoke” (“moyamoya” in Japanese). Treatment is predicated on restoration of cerebral blood flow by surgical revascularization. The rarity of this disorder has limited research and the development of evidence-based clinical management. While acknowledging these limitations, in this article the authors aim to summarize current studies of pediatric moyamoya, with the objective of providing a framework for construction of evidence-based guidelines for treatment. The compilation of current data in these guidelines should serve as a resource to aid pediatric neurosurgeons in their role as advocates for providing appropriate care to affected children.

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Multifocal meningioangiomatosis in a 3-year-old patient

Case report

Osama Jamil, Shakti Ramkissoon, Rebecca Folkerth, and Edward Smith

Meningioangiomatosis consists of benign hamartomatous lesions of the brain and the leptomeninges, which typically present with seizure. Management is predicated on resection and control of seizures with medication. Lesions are typically solitary. Multifocal meningioangiomatosis is extremely rare, with only 2 cases reported in adults and none in children. The authors report the first case, to their knowledge, of multifocal meningioangiomatosis in a child. This unique case highlights therapeutic challenges associated with these lesions and demonstrates that multifocality is possible in the pediatric population. This finding has implications for diagnosis and follow-up for children afflicted with these tumors.

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Editorial. A terrible border wall: a study of pediatric moyamoya exposes socioeconomic barriers to care in the United States

Edward R. Smith

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Late morbidity and mortality following revascularization surgery for moyamoya disease in the pediatric population

Madeline B. Karsten, Edward R. Smith, and R. Michael Scott


There are limited reports on long-term morbidity in pediatric patients who have undergone surgical revascularization for moyamoya disease (MMD). Here, the authors report long-term morbidity and mortality in a population of pediatric patients who underwent pial synangiosis for MMD from 1988 through 2016.


A single-center retrospective review of the hospital and personal operative databases of the senior authors was carried out to identify all patients who were treated for MMD at Boston Children’s Hospital between 1988 and 2016, and who experienced any episode of late morbidity or mortality, which the authors defined as an event resulting in significant neurological deficit or death occurring more than 1 year after revascularization surgery. Hospital records were reviewed to determine pertinent demographic data, the initial mode of patient presentation, and associated comorbidities. Radiographic studies, when available, were reviewed for documentation of the diagnosis and for confirmation of the late complication, and the literature on this topic was reviewed.


In total, 460 patients with MMD underwent surgery between 1988 and 2016 using the pial synangiosis surgical technique; 15 (3.3%) of these patients (9 females and 6 males) experienced documented late death (n = 14) or severe morbidity (n = 1). The median age at revascularization surgery was 8.0 years (range 1–21 years). The causes of these late complications were grouped into three etiologies: intraventricular or intracerebral hemorrhage (n = 8), systemic complications related to associated comorbidities or preoperative disabilities (n = 5), and the development of malignant brain tumors (n = 2). Four patients whose MMD was associated with a history of cranial radiation therapy died. These events occurred from as early as 2 years to as late as 27 years postoperatively.


The risk of late morbidities and mortality following pial synangiosis for MMD in the pediatric patient appeared to be low. Nevertheless, the occurrence of catastrophic cerebrovascular events, particularly intracerebral and intraventricular hemorrhage in the otherwise neurologically stable revascularized patient, was concerning. Although there is value in long-term surveillance of patients who have undergone surgery for MMD, from both a neurological and a general medical standpoint, particularly in patients with the risk factor of prior cranial radiation therapy, it is not clear from the data how the late deaths in this population could have been prevented.

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Foramen magnum stenosis from overgrowth of the opisthion in a child with achondroplasia

Case report

Ruchira M. Jha, Paul Klimo Jr., and Edward R. Smith

Achondroplasia has a known association with foramen magnum stenosis that can result in cervicomedullary compression, which is most often due to a hypertrophied posterior occipital rim and an undersized transverse diameter. The authors present a unique case of a child with achondroplasia with symptomatic craniocervical compression from marked overgrowth of his opisthion anterior to the posterior arch of the atlas. This 22-month-old child with achondroplasia presented with severe respiratory and motor disabilities, including progressive quadriparesis and apneic episodes requiring continuous positive airway pressure. Magnetic resonance imaging and CT scans revealed marked foramen magnum stenosis from overgrowth of the opisthion, a hypoplastic C-1 ring, and spinal cord edema at the cervicomedullary junction. Foramen magnum decompression and a C-1 laminectomy were performed. Postoperatively, steady motor improvement has been observed and the patient no longer requires ventilatory support. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of this unusual anatomical entity.

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Moyamoya disease with mesial temporal sclerosis

Case report

Subash Lohani, Joseph R. Madsen, Ann M. Bergin, and Edward R. Smith

The combination of moyamoya syndrome and symptomatic mesial temporal sclerosis (MTS) has not previously been reported. The authors present the case of a 5-year-old boy with symptomatic MTS who developed progressive moyamoya syndrome. This combination of progressive moyamoya and a structural seizure focus presented a unique clinical problem, with the natural history of MTS predicting a high likelihood of needing resection in the future, which could be challenging following any type of moyamoya-related revascularization surgery. In anticipation of this problem, the patient underwent resection of the right inferior and mesial temporal lobe followed by right pial synangiosis as a 1-day combined operation. Postoperatively he recovered well without any neurological deficits and had an uneventful hospital stay. This case of moyamoya is unique in its association with MTS, and for the simultaneous operations for pial synangiosis and temporal lobectomy, highlighting the importance of surgical planning in patients with dual pathological processes.

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Cavernous malformations of the basal ganglia in children

Clinical article

Bradley A. Gross, Edward R. Smith, and R. Michael Scott


Cavernous malformations (CMs) of the basal ganglia are relatively rare lesions that can lead to considerable neurological impairment because of their eloquent location. The authors reviewed the clinical course and surgical outcome of a series of children with basal ganglia CMs.


The authors retrospectively reviewed the operative experience of the senior author (R.M.S.) and the 1997–2011 database of Boston Children's Hospital for children with CM of the basal ganglia (which includes CM of the caudate and/or lentiform nucleus and excludes CM of the thalamus). They evaluated baseline demographics, presenting signs, operative outcomes, and condition at long-term follow-up visits and compared these characteristics among patients who underwent surgery and those who were observed.


Of 180 children with a diagnosis of CM, 11 (6%) had CM of the basal ganglia. The mean age at diagnosis was 9.3 years, and the male/female ratio was 1.8:1. Presenting signs were as follows: hemorrhage (8 children), incidental lesions (2), and seizures (1); 2 children had choreiform movement disorders. Treatment was observation or surgery. Observation was chosen for 5 children either because the lesions were asymptomatic (2 children) or because the risk for neurological dysfunction after attempted excision was believed to be high (3 children). These 5 children were observed over a combined total of 30.4 patient-years; none experienced neurological deterioration or symptomatic hemorrhage from their lesions. The other 6 children underwent microsurgical resection of the lesion because they were symptomatic from hemorrhage or increasing mass effect. All 6 of these children had hemorrhagic lesions, of which the smallest dimension was at least 1.5 cm. Of these 6 lesions, 5 were excised completely, and over a combined total of 46 patient-years of follow-up, no rebleeding or late neurological deterioration after surgery was reported.


In this patient population, the natural history of small and asymptomatic CMs of the basal ganglia was benign. The children with large (> 1.5 cm) symptomatic lesions underwent excision; neurological impairment was apparently minimal, and no hemorrhage or neurological deterioration occurred later.

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Seckel syndrome and moyamoya

Case report

Patrick J. Codd, R. Michael Scott, and Edward R. Smith

Seckel syndrome is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by intrauterine and postnatal growth delay, microcephaly with mental retardation, and facial dysmorphisms including micrognathia, a recessed forehead, and a large beaked nose. Occurring in 1 in 10,000 children without sex preference, it is the most common primordial microcephalic osteodysplastic dwarfism and has been associated with a variety of congenital brain malformations and intracranial aneurysms. Moyamoya syndrome is an idiopathic, chronic, progressive cerebrovascular disorder marked by stenosis of the intracranial internal carotid arteries and concurrent development of hypertrophied collateral vessels. These tortuous arterial collaterals appear radiographically as “puffs of smoke,” giving the syndrome its name. In this report, the authors describe the case of a 16-year-old girl with coincident Seckel and moyamoya syndromes. To their knowledge, this is the first reported case of such an association being treated with surgical revascularization.

The patient presented with persistent headaches and a 2-year history of progressive hand, arm, and face numbness. Imaging studies revealed multiple completed cerebral infarcts, global ischemic changes, and vascular anatomy consistent with moyamoya syndrome. Bilateral pial synangioses successfully revascularized each hemisphere with resolution of the patient's symptoms. The patient died 1 year later of complications related to treatment of a rapidly progressing intracranial aneurysm.

This report documents the first case associating moyamoya and Seckel syndromes. In addition, the report reveals the rapid development of an intracranial aneurysm in a patient with this syndrome. When coupled with previous reports of other types of cerebrovascular disease in patients with Seckel syndrome or other primordial dwarfisms, the authors' findings are important because they suggest that physicians treating patients with dwarfism should consider the diagnosis of moyamoya syndrome when symptoms suggestive of cerebral ischemia are present. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of moyamoya syndrome, including the use of proven surgical revascularization procedures such as pial synangiosis, may significantly improve the long-term outcomes of these patients.