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  • Author or Editor: Matthew D. Smyth x
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Michael Anthony Ciliberto, David Limbrick, Alexander Powers, Jeffrey B. Titus, Rebecca Munro and Matthew D. Smyth

Object

Intractable epilepsy is a significant burden on families and on the cognitive development and quality of life (QOL) of patients. Periinsular hemispherotomy (PIH) for medically intractable epilepsy can benefit patients who qualify for this procedure. The ideal hemispherotomy candidate has ipsilateral ictal and interictal epileptiform activity, unilateral MR imaging abnormalities, contralateral hemiplegia, and a normal contralateral hemisphere. However, certain patients present with a mixed picture of bilateral electroencephalography (EEG) findings and severe intractable epilepsy, prompting consideration of a more aggressive treatment approach. This report introduces the possibility of surgery for patients who normally would not meet criteria for this treatment modality.

Methods

In this retrospective chart review, the authors report on 7 patients with bilateral seizure onset noted on routine or video-EEG monitoring. A QOL phone questionnaire, based on the Quality of Life in Childhood Epilepsy tool, was administered to a parent. The authors reviewed each patient's chart for surgical complications, changes in examination, QOL, limited neuropsychological outcomes, and seizure outcomes. They also investigated each chart for MR imaging and EEG findings as well as the patient's epilepsy clinic notes for seizure semiology and frequency.

Results

All patients enjoyed a decrease in seizure frequency and a subjective increase in QOL after PIH. Five patients (71%) achieved Engel Class I or II seizure control. The mean follow-up was 3.64 years (2–5.3 years). One patient is now off all antiseizure medication. No patient had a decrement in Full Scale IQ on postsurgical testing, and 2 (28.5%) of 7 individuals had increased adaptive and social functioning. Postsurgical examination changes included hemiplegia and homonymous hemianopia.

Conclusions

Hemispherotomy in patients with intractable epilepsy is generally reserved for individuals with unilateral epileptiform abnormalities or lesions on MR imaging. Seven patients in this study benefited from surgery despite bilateral seizure onset with improvement in seizure control and overall QOL. Thus, bilateral ictal onset does not necessarily preclude consideration for hemispherotomy in selected patients with severe medically refractory epilepsy.

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Editorial

Posthemorrhagic ventricular dilation

Joseph H. Piatt

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David D. Limbrick Jr., Amit Mathur, James M. Johnston, Rebecca Munro, James Sagar, Terrie Inder, Tae Sung Park, Jeffrey L. Leonard and Matthew D. Smyth

Object

Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) and progressive posthemorrhagic ventricular dilation (PPHVD) may result in significant neurological morbidity in preterm infants. At present, there is no consensus regarding the optimal timing or type of neurosurgical procedure to best treat PPHVD. Conflicting data exist regarding the relative risks and benefits of two commonly used temporizing neurosurgical procedures (TNPs), ventricular access devices ([VADs] or ventricular reservoirs) versus ventriculosubgaleal (VSG) shunts. This study was designed to address this issue.

Methods

This is a single-center, 10-year retrospective review of all preterm infants admitted to the St. Louis Children's Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with Papile Grade III–IV IVH. The development of PPHVD and the requirement for and type of TNP were recorded. Rates of TNP complication, ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt implantation, shunt infection, and mortality rates were used to compare the efficacy and limitations of each TNP type.

Results

Over this 10-year interval, 325 preterm infants with Grade III–IV IVH were identified, with trends showing an increasing number of affected infants annually, and an increasing number of TNPs were required annually. Ninety-five (29.2%) of the 325 infants underwent a TNP for PPHVD (65 VADs, 30 VSG shunts). The rate of permanent VP shunt implantation for all TNPs was 72.6% (69 of 95 infants). Forty-nine (75.4%) of the 65 infants treated with VADs and 20 (66.7%) of the 30 treated with VSG shunts required VP shunts (p = 0.38). There was no statistical difference between VAD or VSG shunt with regard to TNP-related infection (p = 0.57), need for TNP revision (p = 0.16), subsequent shunt infection (p = 0.77), shunt revision rate (p = 0.58), or mortality rate (p = 0.24).

Conclusions

Rates of IVH and PPHVD observed at the authors' center have increased over time. In contrast to recent literature, the results from the current study did not demonstrate a difference in complication rate or requirement for permanent VP shunt placement between VADs and VSG shunts. Definitive conclusions will require a larger, prospective trial.