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  • Author or Editor: Neil A. Feldstein x
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Todd C. Hankinson, Elizabeth J. Fontana, Richard C. E. Anderson and Neil A. Feldstein

The traditional reasons for surgical intervention in children with single-suture craniosynostosis (SSC) are cosmetic improvement and the avoidance/treatment of intracranial hypertension, which has been thought to contribute to neurocognitive deficits. Despite considerable work on the topic, the exact prevalence of intracranial hypertension in the population of patients with SSC is unknown, although it appears to be present in only a minority. Additionally, recent neuropsychological and anatomical literature suggests that the subtle neurocognitive deficits identified in children with a history of SSC may not result from external compression. They may instead reflect an underlying developmental condition that includes disordered primary CNS development and early suture fusion. This implies that current surgical techniques are unlikely to prevent neurocognitive deficits in patients with SSC. As such, the most common indication for surgical treatment in SSC is cosmetic, and most patients benefit from considerable subjective cosmetic normalization following surgery. Pediatric craniofacial surgeons have not, however, agreed upon objective means to assess postoperative cranial morphological improvement. We should therefore endeavor to agree upon objective craniometric tools for the assessment of operative outcomes, allowing us to accurately compare the various surgical techniques that are currently available.

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R. Michael Scott

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Omar N. Syed, Todd C. Hankinson, William J. Mack, Neil A. Feldstein and Richard C. E. Anderson

Pediatric neurosurgeons frequently care for children with traumatic scalp and skull injury. Foreign objects are often observed on imaging and may influence the clinician's decision-making process. The authors report on 2 cases of poorly visualized hair beads that had become embedded into the skull during blunt trauma. In both cases, skull radiography and CT scanning demonstrated depressed, comminuted fractures with poorly demonstrated spherical radiolucencies in the overlying scalp. The nature of these objects was initially unclear, and they could have represented air that entered the scalp during trauma. In one case, scalp inspection demonstrated no evidence of the bead. In the other case, a second bead was observed at the site of scalp laceration. In both cases, the beads were surgically removed, the fractures were elevated, and the patients recovered uneventfully. Radiolucent fashion accessories, such as hair beads, may be difficult to appreciate on clinical examination and may masquerade as clinically insignificant air following cranial trauma. If they are not removed, these foreign bodies may pose the risk of an infection. Pediatric neurosurgeons should consider hair accessories in the differential diagnosis of foreign bodies that may produce skull fracture following blunt trauma.

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Todd C. Hankinson, J Mocco, Brent Kimball, Richard C. E. Anderson and Neil A. Feldstein

✓The authors describe the internal cranial expansion (ICE) procedure, a surgical technique that was used to treat two chronically shunt-treated children who presented with medically and surgically refractory intracranial hypertension despite the presence of functioning cerebrospinal fluid shunt systems. The ICE procedure was used as a means to increase intracranial volume without sacrificing calvarial rigidity. Intracranial volume was increased by 5% in one case and 10% in the other. Both patients have returned to their neurological and functional baselines, and they are free of symptoms related to intracranial hypertension.

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Todd C. Hankinson, Leif-Erik Bohman, Geoffrey Heyer, Maureen Licursi, Saadi Ghatan, Neil A. Feldstein and Richard C. E. Anderson

Object

Children with sickle cell anemia (SCA) and moyamoya syndrome carry a significant risk of ischemic stroke. Given the success of encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis (EDAS) or pial synangiosis in the treatment of moyamoya disease, the purpose of this study was to examine whether it reliably and durably protected children with SCA and moyamoya syndrome against cerebrovascular complications.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed a series of 12 patients with SCA who developed clinical and/or radiological evidence of moyamoya syndrome and underwent EDAS.

Results

Eleven patients (92%) presented following a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), transient ischemic attack (TIA), or seizure. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging or angiography suggested moyamoya vascular changes, and cerebral angiography confirmed the diagnosis in all 12 patients. At the time of surgery, the median age was 12.3 years (range 6.8–19.4 years). Ten (83%) of 12 patients had a history of CVA, and 4 of these patients were compliant with a transfusion protocol at the time of their CVA. Bilateral (7 patients) or unilateral (5 patients) EDAS was performed without complications. The mean follow-up period was 46.8 months (range 8.1–106 months). During the follow-up period, 2 patients (16.7%) suffered cerebrovascular events. One patient, who was stroke-free preoperatively, suffered a CVA 3 weeks after the procedure. The other patient suffered a single left lower-extremity TIA 18 months following right-sided EDAS. She returned to her neurological baseline condition and remains stable 53 months postoperatively. Seven patients underwent follow-up angiography or MR angiography, and evidence of revascularization was noted in all cases. At this time, no patient has developed progressive disease requiring a contralateral procedure after unilateral EDAS.

Conclusions

The EDAS procedure is a safe and effective treatment option in patients with SCA who develop moyamoya syndrome.

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Benjamin C. Kennedy, Michael M. McDowell, Peter H. Yang, Caroline M. Wilson, Sida Li, Todd C. Hankinson, Neil A. Feldstein and Richard C. E. Anderson

Object

Pediatric patients with sickle cell anemia (SCA) carry a significant risk of developing moyamoya syndrome (MMS) and brain ischemia. The authors sought to review the safety and efficacy of pial synangiosis in the treatment of MMS in children with SCA by performing a comprehensive review of all previously reported cases in the literature.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the clinical and radiographic records in 17 pediatric patients with SCA treated at the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York (MSCHONY) who developed radiological evidence of MMS and underwent pial synangiosis between 1996 and 2012. The authors then added any additional reported cases of pial synangiosis for this population in the literature for a combined analysis of clinical and radiographic outcomes.

Results

The combined data consisted of 48 pial synangiosis procedures performed in 30 patients. Of these, 27 patients (90%) presented with seizure, stroke, or transient ischemic attack, whereas 3 (10%) were referred after transcranial Doppler screening. At the time of surgery, the median age was 12 years. Thirteen patients (43%) suffered an ischemic stroke while on chronic transfusion therapy. Long-term follow-up imaging (MR angiography or catheter angiography) at a mean of 25 months postoperatively was available in 39 (81%) treated hemispheres. In 34 (87%) of those hemispheres there were demonstrable collateral vessels on imaging. There were 4 neurological events in 1590 cumulative months of follow-up, or 1 event per 33 patient-years. In the patients in whom complete data were available (MSCHONY series, n = 17), the postoperative stroke rate was reduced more than 6-fold from the preoperative rate (p = 0.0003).

Conclusions

Pial synangiosis in patients with SCA, MMS, and brain ischemia appears to be a safe and effective treatment option. Transcranial Doppler and/or MRI screening in asymptomatic patients with SCA is recommended for the diagnosis of MMS.

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Todd C. Hankinson, Alfred T. Ogden, Peter Canoll, James H. Garvin, Michael Kazim, Jeffrey N. Bruce, Neil A. Feldstein and Richard C. E. Anderson

✓ Soft-tissue glomus tumors (or glomangiomas) are unrelated to neuroendocrine paragangliomas (glomus tympanicum, jugulare, and vagale). The authors present the first reported case of an orbital soft-tissue glomus tumor in a child. An 8-year-old girl developed rapidly progressive right-eye blindness, proptosis, and a sixth cranial nerve palsy. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a homogeneously enhancing lesion extending from the right orbit through the superior orbital fissure to the cavernous sinus and middle cranial fossa. A biopsy specimen demonstrated the lesion to be a soft-tissue glomus tumor. Following angiography and embolization, a gross-total resection of the tumor was achieved. The patient was treated with adjuvant proton-beam radiotherapy. At 24 months follow-up her proptosis and sixth cranial nerve palsy had resolved and there was no evidence of tumor recurrence.

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Nikita G. Alexiades, Edward S. Ahn, Jeffrey P. Blount, Douglas L. Brockmeyer, Samuel R. Browd, Gerald A. Grant, Gregory G. Heuer, Todd C. Hankinson, Bermans J. Iskandar, Andrew Jea, Mark D. Krieger, Jeffrey R. Leonard, David D. Limbrick Jr., Cormac O. Maher, Mark R. Proctor, David I. Sandberg, John C. Wellons III, Belinda Shao, Neil A. Feldstein and Richard C. E. Anderson

OBJECTIVE

Complications after complex tethered spinal cord (cTSC) surgery include infections and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks. With little empirical evidence to guide management, there is variability in the interventions undertaken to limit complications. Expert-based best practices may improve the care of patients undergoing cTSC surgery. Here, authors conducted a study to identify consensus-driven best practices.

METHODS

The Delphi method was employed to identify consensual best practices. A literature review regarding cTSC surgery together with a survey of current practices was distributed to 17 board-certified pediatric neurosurgeons. Thirty statements were then formulated and distributed to the group. Results of the second survey were discussed during an in-person meeting leading to further consensus, which was defined as ≥ 80% agreement on a 4-point Likert scale (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree).

RESULTS

Seventeen consensus-driven best practices were identified, with all participants willing to incorporate them into their practice. There were four preoperative interventions: (1, 2) asymptomatic AND symptomatic patients should be referred to urology preoperatively, (3, 4) routine preoperative urine cultures are not necessary for asymptomatic AND symptomatic patients. There were nine intraoperative interventions: (5) patients should receive perioperative cefazolin or an equivalent alternative in the event of allergy, (6) chlorhexidine-based skin preparation is the preferred regimen, (7) saline irrigation should be used intermittently throughout the case, (8) antibiotic-containing irrigation should be used following dural closure, (9) a nonlocking running suture technique should be used for dural closure, (10) dural graft overlay should be used when unable to obtain primary dural closure, (11) an expansile dural graft should be incorporated in cases of lipomyelomeningocele in which primary dural closure does not permit free flow of CSF, (12) paraxial muscles should be closed as a layer separate from the fascia, (13) routine placement of postoperative drains is not necessary. There were three postoperative interventions: (14) postoperative antibiotics are an option and, if given, should be discontinued within 24 hours; (15) patients should remain flat for at least 24 hours postoperatively; (16) routine use of abdominal binders or other compressive devices postoperatively is not necessary. One intervention was prioritized for additional study: (17) further study of additional gram-negative perioperative coverage is needed.

CONCLUSIONS

A modified Delphi technique was used to develop consensus-driven best practices for decreasing wound complications after cTSC surgery. Further study is required to determine if implementation of these practices will lead to reduced complications. Discussion through the course of this study resulted in the initiation of a multicenter study of gram-negative surgical site infections in cTSC surgery.