Prayash Patel, Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol, Frederick Boop and Paul Klimo Jr.
There are a number of surgical approaches to the third ventricle, each with advantages and disadvantages. Which approach to use depends on the location of the lesion within the ventricle, the goals of the operation, and the surgeon's experience. The authors present their results in children with a modified approach through the expanded foramen of Monro.
A retrospective study was conducted to identify and analyze all children who underwent what the authors term the “expanded transforaminal” approach to the third ventricle between 2010 and 2013. Perioperative data included patient demographics, signs and symptoms on presentation, tumor characteristics (type, origin, and size), complications, and clinical and radiographic outcome at final follow-up.
Twelve patients were identified (5 female, 7 male) with a mean age of 9 years (range 2–19 years). Two patients underwent gross-total resections, whereas 10 resections were less than total. There were no instances of venous infarction, significant intraoperative bleeding, or short-term memory deficits. Of the 12 patients, 7 suffered a total of 17 complications. Disruption of neuroendocrine function occurred in 4 patients: 2 with transient diabetes insipidus, 2 with permanent panhypopituitarism, and 1 with central hypothroidism (1 patient had 2 complications). The most common group of complications were CSF-related, including 2 patients requiring a new shunt. There was 1 approach-related injury to the fornix, which did not result in any clinical deficits. One child with an aggressive malignancy died of tumor progression 6 months after surgery. Of the remaining 11 patients, none have experienced tumor recurrence or progression to date.
The expanded transcallosal transforaminal approach is a safe and relatively easy method of exploiting a natural pathway to the third ventricle, but there remain blind zones in the anterosuperior and posterosuperior regions of the third ventricle.
Adam Ross Befeler, David J. Daniels, Susan A. Helms, Paul Klimo Jr. and Frederick Boop
Current data indicate the rate of head injuries in children caused by falling televisions is increasing. The authors describe these injuries and the cost incurred by them.
In a single-institution retrospective review, all children treated for a television-related injury at LeBonheur Children's Hospital, a Level I pediatric trauma center, between 2009 and 2013 were identified through the institution's trauma registry. The type, mechanism, and severity of cranial injuries, surgical interventions, outcome, and costs were examined.
Twenty-six patients were treated for a television-related injury during the study period. Most injuries (22 cases, 85%) occurred in children aged 2–4 years (mean age 3.3 years), and 19 (73%) of the 26 patients were male. Head injuries occurred in 20 patients (77%); these injuries ranged from concussion to skull fractures and subdural, subarachnoid, and intraparenchymal hemorrhages. The average Glasgow Coma Scale score on admission was 12 (range 7–15), and 3 patients (12%) had neurological deficits. Surgical intervention was required in 5 cases (19%). The majority of patients made a full recovery. There were no deaths. The total cost for television-related injuries was $1.4 million, with an average cost of $53,893 per accident.
A high occurrence of head injuries was seen following television-related accidents in young children. This injury is ideal for a public education campaign targeting parents, health care workers, and television manufacturers.
Mark Van Poppel, Paul Klimo Jr., Mariko Dewire, Robert A. Sanford, Frederick Boop, Alberto Broniscer, Karen Wright and Amar J. Gajjar
Brain tumors in infants are often large, high grade, and vascular, making complete resection difficult and placing children at risk for neurological complications and excessive blood loss. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy may reduce tumor vascularity and volume, which can facilitate resection. The authors evaluated how an ongoing institutional prospective chemotherapy trial would affect patients who did not have a gross-total resection (GTR) immediately and who therefore required further surgical intervention to achieve definitive tumor resection.
Thirteen infants (4 girls and 9 boys) who were enrolled in an institutional protocol in which they were treated with multiagent chemotherapy (methotrexate, vincristine, cisplatin, and cyclophosphamide with vinblastine for high-risk patients) subsequently underwent second-look surgery. The primary outcome was extent of resection achieved in postchemotherapy surgery. Secondary outcomes included intraoperative blood loss, radiographic response to the chemotherapy, complications during chemotherapy, and survival.
Three infants underwent biopsy, 9 underwent subtotal resection, and 1 patient did not undergo surgery prior to chemotherapy. On subsequent second-look surgery, 11 of 13 patients had a GTR, 1 had a near-total resection, and 1 had a subtotal resection. In each case, a marked reduction in tumor vascularity was observed intraoperatively. The average blood loss was 19% of estimated blood volume, and 6 (46%) of 13 patients required a blood transfusion. Radiographically, chemotherapy induced a reduction in tumor volume in 9 (69%) of 13 patients. Emergency surgery was required in 2 patients during chemotherapy, 1 for intratumoral hemorrhage and 1 for worsening peritumoral edema. The average follow-up period for this cohort was 16.5 months, and at last follow-up, 4 patients (31%) had died, 1 patient had progressive metastatic spinal disease, and the rest had either no evidence of disease or stable disease.
A GTR of pediatric brain tumors is one of the most important predictors of outcome. The application of the authors' neoadjuvant induction chemotherapy protocol in a variety of tumor types resulted in devascularization of all tumors and volume regression in the majority, and subsequently facilitated resection, with acceptable intraoperative blood loss. Intracranial complications may occur during chemotherapy, ranging from incidental and asymptomatic to life threatening, necessitating close monitoring of these children.