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Noah C. Beadell, Eric M. Thompson, Johnny B. Delashaw and Justin S. Cetas

Object

The objective of this study was to retrospectively look at methamphetamine (MA) use in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) to determine if MA use affects clinical presentation and outcomes after aneurysmal SAH.

Methods

A retrospective review of patients admitted to the Oregon Health & Science University neurosurgical service with aneurysmal SAH during the past 6 years was undertaken. Variables analyzed included MA use, age, sex, cigarette use, Hunt and Hess grade, Fisher grade, admission blood pressure, aneurysm characteristics, occurrence of vasospasm, hospital length of stay (LOS), cerebral infarction, aneurysm treatment, and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score. Data differences between MA users and nonusers were statistically analyzed using multivariate logistic regression analysis. A separate comparison with randomly selected age-matched nonuser controls was also performed.

Results

Twenty-eight (7%) of 374 patients with aneurysmal SAH were identified as MA users. Methamphetamine users were younger than nonusers (45.2 vs 55.9 years, respectively; p <0.001). Despite a younger age, MA users had significantly higher Hunt and Hess grades than nonusers (3.0 vs 2.5, respectively; p <0.020) and age-matched controls (3.0 vs 2.0, respectively; p <0.001). Earliest available mean arterial pressure was significantly higher in MA users (122.1 vs 109.7, respectively; p = 0.005) than all nonusers but not age-matched controls. Methamphetamine users had significantly higher vasospasm rates than nonusers (92.9% vs 71.1%, respectively; p = 0.008) but similar rates as age-matched controls (92.9% vs 89.3%, respectively; p = 0.500). Glasgow Outcome Scale score did not differ significantly between users and nonusers (3 vs 4, respectively; p = 0.170), but users had significantly lower GOS scores than age-matched controls (3 vs 5, respectively; p <0.001). There was no statistically significant difference in the LOS between users and nonusers (18 days vs 16 days, respectively; p = 0.431) or users and age-matched controls (18 days vs 14 days, respectively; p = 0.250). In the multivariate analysis, MA use (OR 3.777, p = 0.018), age (p <0.001), Fisher grade (p = 0.011), Hunt and Hess grade (p <0.001), and cerebral infarction (p <0.001) were predictors of poor GOS score. The only predictor of vasospasm was age (p <0.001), although a strong predictive trend in MA use (p = 0.149) was found. Predictors of a hospital LOS >15 days included age (p = 0.002), Fisher grade (p = 0.002), Hunt and Hess grade (p <0.001), and cerebral infarction (p <0.001). Predictors of cerebral infarction include male sex (p = 0.022) and Hunt and Hess grade (p = 0.006), with vasospasm demonstrating a strong trend (p = 0.056).

Conclusions

A history of MA use may predict poorer outcomes in patients who present with aneurysmal SAH. Methamphetamine users have significantly worse presentations and outcomes when compared with age-matched controls.

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Mark P. Piedra, Eric M. Thompson, Nathan R. Selden, Brian T. Ragel and Daniel J. Guillaume

Object

The object of this study was to determine if early cranioplasty after decompressive craniectomy for elevated intracranial pressure in children reduces complications.

Methods

Sixty-one consecutive cases involving pediatric patients who underwent autologous cranioplasty after decompressive craniectomy for raised intracranial pressure at a single academic children's hospital over 15 years were studied retrospectively.

Results

Sixty-one patients were divided into early (< 6 weeks; 28 patients) and late (≥ 6 weeks; 33 patients) cranioplasty cohorts. The cohorts were similar except for slightly lower age in the early (8.03 years) than the late (10.8 years) cranioplasty cohort (p < 0.05). Bone resorption after cranioplasty was significantly more common in the late (42%) than the early (14%) cranioplasty cohort (p < 0.05; OR 5.4). No other complication differed in incidence between the cohorts.

Conclusions

After decompressive craniectomy for raised intracranial pressure in children, early (< 6 weeks) cranioplasty reduces the occurrence of reoperation for bone resorption, without altering the incidence of other complications.

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Eric M. Thompson, Susan E. Wozniak, Colin M. Roberts, Amy Kao, Valerie C. Anderson and Nathan R. Selden

Object

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is approved by the FDA for the treatment of partial epilepsy in patients older than 12 years. Authors of the current study performed a large retrospective analysis and comparison of VNS outcomes in children with an age ≥ and < 12 years, including those with partial and generalized epilepsy.

Methods

A retrospective review of the records of pediatric patients (age < 18 years) who had undergone primary VNS system implantation between 2001 and 2010 by a single pediatric neurosurgeon was undertaken. Considered data included demographics, epilepsy type (partial vs generalized), seizure frequency, seizure duration, postictal period duration, and antiepileptic medication use.

Results

One hundred forty-six patients (49% female) were followed up for a mean of 41 months after VNS implantation. Thirty-two percent of patients had partial epilepsy and 68% had generalized epilepsy. After VNS system implantation, seizure frequency was reduced in 91% of patients, seizure duration in 50%, postictal period in 49%, and antiepileptic medication use in 75%. There was no significant difference in age, sex, or duration of follow-up according to epilepsy type. Neither was there any significant difference in seizure frequency reduction, seizure duration, postictal period, medication use, overall clinical improvement, or improvement in quality of life based on an age ≥ or < 12 years or epilepsy type.

Conclusions

Vagus nerve stimulation reduced both seizure frequency and antiepileptic medication use in the majority of pediatric patients regardless of sex, age cohort, or epilepsy type. Vagus nerve stimulation also reduced seizure duration and postictal period in approximately half of the pediatric patients. Contrary to expectation, children with partial epilepsy do not benefit from VNS at higher rates than those with generalized epilepsy.

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Eric M. Thompson, Stephen G. Giles, Howard K. Song, Zachary N. Litvack, Kiarash J. Golshani and Andrew N. Nemecek

The authors report a complex case in a 35-year-old woman who underwent shunt placement at birth for myelomeningocele. She had previously undergone more than 30 shunt revisions, with placement of the distal catheter in the peritoneum multiple times, and also in the pleura, the gall bladder, and the upper venous system. All shunts had failed and the possible placement sites were now anatomically hostile. A median sternotomy was performed as the next option. The catheter was placed directly into the appendage of the right atrium and secured with a pursestring suture. One month postoperatively, the patient presented with a large pericardial effusion after the distal catheter migrated out of the atrium and into the pericardial space. A repeat sternotomy was performed to drain the pericardial CSF collection. The catheter was reinserted into the atrial appendage, and a tunnel was created in the atrial wall to fix the device more securely. At 1 year postoperatively, the patient had no further symptoms of shunt obstruction or cardiac tamponade, and imaging studies suggested that the shunt system was functional. The authors report the first successful ventricle to direct heart shunt in an adult.

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Erin N. Kiehna, Elysa Widjaja, Stephanie Holowka, O. Carter Snead III, James Drake, Shelly K. Weiss, Ayako Ochi, Eric M. Thompson, Cristina Go, Hiroshi Otsubo, Elizabeth J. Donner and James T. Rutka

OBJECT

Hemispherectomy for unilateral, medically refractory epilepsy is associated with excellent long-term seizure control. However, for patients with recurrent seizures following disconnection, workup and investigation can be challenging, and surgical options may be limited. Few studies have examined the role of repeat hemispherotomy in these patients. The authors hypothesized that residual fiber connections between the hemispheres could be the underlying cause of recurrent epilepsy in these patients. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was used to test this hypothesis, and to target residual connections at reoperation using neuronavigation.

METHODS

The authors identified 8 patients with recurrent seizures following hemispherectomy who underwent surgery between 1995 and 2012. Prolonged video electroencephalography recordings documented persistent seizures arising from the affected hemisphere. In all patients, DTI demonstrated residual white matter association fibers connecting the hemispheres. A repeat craniotomy and neuronavigation-guided targeted disconnection of these residual fibers was performed. Engel class was used to determine outcome after surgery at a minimum of 2 years of follow-up.

RESULTS

Two patients underwent initial hemidecortication and 6 had periinsular hemispherotomy as their first procedures at a median age of 9.7 months. Initial pathologies included hemimegalencephaly (n = 4), multilobar cortical dysplasia (n = 3), and Rasmussen's encephalitis (n = 1). The mean duration of seizure freedom for the group after the initial procedure was 32.5 months (range 6–77 months). In all patients, DTI showed limited but definite residual connections between the 2 hemispheres, primarily across the rostrum/genu of the corpus callosum. The median age at reoperation was 6.8 years (range 1.3–14 years). The average time taken for reoperation was 3 hours (range 1.8–4.3 hours), with a mean blood loss of 150 ml (range 50–250 ml). One patient required a blood transfusion. Five patients are seizure free, and the remaining 3 patients are Engel Class II, with a minimum follow-up of 24 months for the group.

CONCLUSIONS

Repeat hemispherotomy is an option for consideration in patients with recurrent intractable epilepsy following failed surgery for catastrophic epilepsy. In conjunction with other modalities to establish seizure onset zones, advanced MRI and DTI sequences may be of value in identifying patients with residual connectivity between the affected and unaffected hemispheres. Targeted disconnection of these residual areas of connectivity using neuronavigation may result in improved seizure outcomes, with minimal and acceptable morbidity.

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Brandon G. Rocque, Bonita S. Agee, Eric M. Thompson, Mark Piedra, Lissa C. Baird, Nathan R. Selden, Stephanie Greene, Christopher P. Deibert, Todd C. Hankinson, Sean M. Lew, Bermans J. Iskandar, Taryn M. Bragg, David Frim, Gerald Grant, Nalin Gupta, Kurtis I. Auguste, Dimitrios C. Nikas, Michael Vassilyadi, Carrie R. Muh, Nicholas M. Wetjen and Sandi K. Lam

OBJECTIVE

In children, the repair of skull defects arising from decompressive craniectomy presents a unique set of challenges. Single-center studies have identified different risk factors for the common complications of cranioplasty resorption and infection. The goal of the present study was to determine the risk factors for bone resorption and infection after pediatric cranioplasty.

METHODS

The authors conducted a multicenter retrospective case study that included all patients who underwent cranioplasty to correct a skull defect arising from a decompressive craniectomy at 13 centers between 2000 and 2011 and were less than 19 years old at the time of cranioplasty. Prior systematic review of the literature along with expert opinion guided the selection of variables to be collected. These included: indication for craniectomy; history of abusive head trauma; method of bone storage; method of bone fixation; use of drains; size of bone graft; presence of other implants, including ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt; presence of fluid collections; age at craniectomy; and time between craniectomy and cranioplasty.

RESULTS

A total of 359 patients met the inclusion criteria. The patients’ mean age was 8.4 years, and 51.5% were female. Thirty-eight cases (10.5%) were complicated by infection. In multivariate analysis, presence of a cranial implant (primarily VP shunt) (OR 2.41, 95% CI 1.17–4.98), presence of gastrostomy (OR 2.44, 95% CI 1.03–5.79), and ventilator dependence (OR 8.45, 95% CI 1.10–65.08) were significant risk factors for cranioplasty infection. No other variable was associated with infection.

Of the 240 patients who underwent a cranioplasty with bone graft, 21.7% showed bone resorption significant enough to warrant repeat surgical intervention. The most important predictor of cranioplasty bone resorption was age at the time of cranioplasty. For every month of increased age the risk of bone flap resorption decreased by 1% (OR 0.99, 95% CI 0.98–0.99, p < 0.001). Other risk factors for resorption in multivariate models were the use of external ventricular drains and lumbar shunts.

CONCLUSIONS

This is the largest study of pediatric cranioplasty outcomes performed to date. Analysis included variables found to be significant in previous retrospective reports. Presence of a cranial implant such as VP shunt is the most significant risk factor for cranioplasty infection, whereas younger age at cranioplasty is the dominant risk factor for bone resorption.

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Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010