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Benjamin C. Wood, Edward S. Ahn, Joanna Y. Wang, Albert K. Oh, Robert F. Keating, Gary F. Rogers and Suresh N. Magge

OBJECTIVE

Endoscopic strip craniectomy (ESC) with postoperative helmet orthosis is a well-established treatment option for sagittal craniosynostosis. There are many technical variations to the surgery ranging from simple strip craniectomy to methods that employ multiple cranial osteotomies. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the addition of lateral barrel-stave osteotomies during ESC improved morphological outcomes.

METHODS

An IRB-approved retrospective review was conducted on a consecutive series of cases involving ESC for sagittal craniosynostosis at 2 different institutions from March 2008 to August 2014. The patients in Group A underwent ESC and those in Group B had ESC with lateral barrel-stave osteotomies. Demographic and perioperative data were recorded; postoperative morphological outcomes were analyzed using 3D laser scan data acquired from a single orthotic manufacturer who managed patients from both institutions.

RESULTS

A total of 73 patients were included (34 in Group A and 39 in Group B). Compared with Group B patients, Group A patients had a shorter mean anesthetic time (161.7 vs 195 minutes; p < 0.01) and operative time (71.6 vs 111 minutes; p < 0.01). The mean hospital stay was similar for the 2 groups (1.2 days for Group A vs 1.4 days for Group B; p = 0.1). Adequate postoperative data on morphological outcomes were reported by the orthotic manufacturer for 65 patients (29 in Group A and 36 in Group B). The 2 groups had similar improvement in the cephalic index (CI): Group A, mean change 10.5% (mean preoperative CI 72.6, final 80.4) at a mean follow-up of 13.2 months; Group B, mean change 12.2% (mean preoperative CI 71.0, final 79.6) at a mean follow-up of 19.4 months. The difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.15).

CONCLUSIONS

Both ESC alone and ESC with barrel staving produced excellent outcomes. However, the addition of barrel staves did not improve the results and, therefore, may not be warranted in the endoscopic treatment of sagittal craniosynostosis.

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Mitchel Seruya, Albert K. Oh, Michael J. Boyajian, John S. Myseros, Amanda L. Yaun and Robert F. Keating

Object

Intraoperative blood loss represents a significant concern during open repair of craniosynostosis, and its reliable measurement remains a serious challenge. In this study of extended sagittal synostectomies, the authors analyzed the relationship between estimated blood loss (EBL) and calculated blood loss (CBL), and investigated predictors of hemodynamic outcomes.

Methods

The authors reviewed outcomes in infants with sagittal synostosis who underwent primary extended synostectomies (the so-called Pi procedure) between 1997 and 2009. Patient demographic data, operating time, and mean arterial pressures (MAPs) were recorded. Serial MAPs were averaged for a MAPmean. The EBL was based on anesthesia records, and the CBL on pre- and postoperative hemoglobin values in concert with transfusion volumes. Factors associated with EBL, CBL, red blood cell transfusion (RBCT), and hospital length of stay (LOS) were investigated. Hemodynamic outcomes were reported as percent estimated blood volume (% EBV), and relationships were analyzed using simple and multiple linear and logistic regression models. A p value < 0.05 was considered significant.

Results

Seventy-one infants with sagittal synostosis underwent primary extended synostectomies at a mean age and weight of 4.9 months and 7.3 kg, respectively. The average operating time was 1.4 hours, and intraoperative MAP was 54.6 mm Hg (21.3% lower than preoperative baseline). There was no association between mean EBL (12.7% EBV) and mean CBL (23.6% EBV) (r = 0.059, p = 0.63). The EBL inversely correlated with the patient's age (r = −0.07) and weight (r = −0.11) at surgery (p < 0.05 in both instances). With regard to intraoperative factors, EBL positively trended with operating time (r = 0.26, p = 0.09) and CBL inversely trended with MAPmean (r = −0.04, p = 0.10), although these relationships were only borderline significant. Intraoperative RBCT, which was required in 59.1% of patients, positively correlated with EBL (r = 1.55, p < 0.001), yet negatively trended with CBL (r = −0.40, p = 0.01). Undertransfusion was significantly more common than overtransfusion (40.8% vs 22.5%, p = 0.02, respectively). The mean hospital LOS was 2.3 days and was not significantly associated with patient demographic characteristics, intraoperative factors, blood loss, RBCT, or total fluid requirements.

Conclusions

In extended synostectomies for sagittal synostosis, EBL and CBL demonstrated a decided lack of correlation with one another. Intraoperative blood transfusion positively correlated with EBL, but inversely correlated with CBL, with a significantly higher proportion of patients undertransfused than overtransfused. These findings highlight the need for reliable, real-time monitoring of intraoperative blood loss to provide improved guidance for blood and fluid resuscitation.

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Jonathan Roth, Robert F. Keating, John S. Myseros, Amanda L. Yaun, Suresh N. Magge and Shlomi Constantini

Object

Rising numbers of MRI studies performed during evaluations for pediatric disorders have contributed to a significant increase in the number of incidentally found brain tumors. Currently, there is very little literature on the nature of and the preferred treatment for these incidental brain tumors. In this paper the authors review their experience diagnosing and treating these lesions in children as well as the current literature on this topic.

Methods

Records from 2 centers were reviewed for incidentally found brain tumors, treatment approaches, and outcomes for both surgical and nonsurgical cohorts.

Results

Forty-seven children (30 males and 17 females) with a mean age of 8.6 years were found to have incidental brain lesions suspected to be neoplasms. Twenty-five underwent surgery and 22 were observed. Two children in the observation group required surgery at a later stage. Tumor pathology in 24 patients was benign. Only 3 patients had high-grade tumors. All nonsurgically treated lesions were presumed to be low-grade tumors and were followed up for 25 ± 20 months.

Conclusions

The discovery of incidental brain tumors on MRI in children poses an increasing challenge. Additional studies are needed to determine the significance as well as the optimal management strategies in this situation.

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Letter to the Editor

Cerebellar mutism

Mostafa El Khashab and Farideh Nejat

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Alan Siu, Gary F. Rogers, John S. Myseros, Siri S. Khalsa, Robert F. Keating and Suresh N. Magge

There is no known correlation between Down syndrome and craniosynostosis. The authors report 2 infants with trisomy 21 and right unilateral coronal craniosynostosis. Both patients were clinically asymptomatic but displayed characteristic craniofacial features associated with each disorder. One patient underwent a bilateral fronto-orbital advancement and the other underwent an endoscopically assisted strip craniectomy with postoperative helmet therapy. Both patients demonstrated good cosmesis at follow-up.

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Suresh N. Magge, Arthur R. Bartolozzi IV, Neil D. Almeida, Deki Tsering, John S. Myseros, Chima O. Oluigbo, Gary F. Rogers and Robert F. Keating

OBJECTIVE

Sagittal craniosynostosis is managed with a wide variety of operative strategies. The current investigation compares the clinical outcomes of two widely performed techniques: pi craniectomy and minimally invasive endoscopic strip craniectomy (ESC) followed by helmet therapy.

METHODS

This IRB-approved retrospective study examined patients diagnosed with nonsyndromic, single-suture sagittal craniosynostosis treated with either pi craniectomy or ESC. Included patients had a minimum postoperative follow-up of 5 months.

RESULTS

Fifty-one patients met the inclusion criteria (pi 21 patients, ESC 30 patients). Compared to patients who underwent ESC, the pi patients were older at the time of surgery (mean age 5.06 vs 3.11 months). The mean follow-up time was 23.2 months for ESC patients and 31.4 months for pi patients. Initial cranial index (CI) was similar between the groups, but postoperatively the ESC patients experienced a 12.3% mean increase in CI (from 0.685 to 0.767) compared to a 5.34% increase for the pi patients (from 0.684 to 0.719), and this difference was statistically significant (p < 0.001). Median hospital length of stay (1 vs 2 days) and operative duration (69.5 vs 93.3 minutes) were significantly less for ESC (p < 0.001 for both). The ESC patients showed a trend toward better results when surgery was done at younger ages. Craniectomy width in ESC cases was positively associated with CI improvement (slope of linear regression = 0.69, p = 0.026).

CONCLUSIONS

While both techniques effectively treated sagittal craniosynostosis, ESC showed superior results compared to pi craniectomy. ESC showed a trend for better outcomes when done at younger ages, although the trend did not reach statistical significance. A wider craniectomy width (up to 2 cm) was associated with better outcomes than smaller craniectomy widths among the ESC patients.

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Elizabeth M. Wells, Zarir P. Khademian, Karin S. Walsh, Gilbert Vezina, Richard Sposto, Robert F. Keating and Roger J. Packer

Object

The origin and long-term outcome of cerebellar mutism syndrome (CMS), a postoperative syndrome of diminished speech, hypotonia, and ataxia that affects approximately 25% of patients with medulloblastoma, is poorly elucidated. The current study was undertaken to determine factors associated with development of CMS, a means to determine its severity or cause, and outcomes of patients with this syndrome.

Methods

The study included 28 children with medulloblastoma who either underwent an operation or were referred to the authors' institution soon after surgery. Eleven (39%) of these children had CMS. The preoperative, immediate postoperative, and 1-year postoperative MR images were reviewed by a neuroradiologist blinded to diagnosis of CMS. The severity of mutism and neurological and neurocognitive outcomes were examined.

Results

Preoperative MR images showed no differences in tumor size, hydrocephalus, or peritumoral edema in patients with and without CMS. An association with brainstem invasion was significant (p < 0.05), and there was a trend toward an association with involvement of the cerebellomedullary angle (p = 0.08). Images obtained immediately postoperatively showed cerebellar edema in 92% of all patients; there were trends for more middle and superior cerebellar peduncle edema in patients with CMS (p = 0.05 and 0.07, respectively). At 1 year postoperatively, patients with CMS showed more moderate to severe atrophy/gliosis of total cerebellum (p < 0.01), vermis (p < 0.01), and brainstem (p < 0.05). Mean IQ was 16 points lower in patients with CMS (IQ = 84.2 ± 15.8) compared with those without CMS (IQ = 100.4 ± 17.4), with a trend toward significance (p = 0.07).

Conclusions

This study demonstrates that CMS is associated with postoperative damage to the cerebellum and brainstem, damage not predicted by immediate postoperative MR imaging, and with poorer associated functional outcome.

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Tina M. Sauerhammer, Albert K. Oh, Michael Boyajian, Suresh N. Magge, John S. Myseros, Robert F. Keating and Gary F. Rogers

Object

Unilateral fusion of the frontoparietal suture is the most common cause of synostotic frontal plagiocephaly. Localized fusion of the frontosphenoidal suture is rare but can lead to a similar, but subtly distinct, phenotype.

Methods

A retrospective chart review of the authors' craniofacial database was performed. Patients with isolated frontosphenoidal synostosis on CT imaging were included. Demographic data, as well as the clinical and radiographic findings, were recorded.

Results

Three patients were identified. All patients were female and none had an identifiable syndrome. Head circumference was normal in each patient. The mean age at presentation was 4.8 months (range 2.0–9.8 months); 2 fusions were on the right side. Frontal flattening and recession of the supraorbital rim on the fused side were consistent physical findings. No patient had appreciable facial angulation or orbital dystopia, and 2 patients had anterior displacement of the ipsilateral ear. All 3 patients were initially misdiagnosed with unilateral coronal synostosis, and CT imaging at a mean age of 5.4 months (range 2.1–10.8 months) was required to secure the correct diagnosis. Computed tomography findings included patency of the frontoparietal suture, minor to no anterior cranial base angulation, and vertical flattening of the orbit without sphenoid wing elevation on the fused side. One patient underwent CT scanning at 2.1 months of age, which demonstrated a narrow, but patent, frontosphenoidal suture. The patient's condition was assumed to be a deformational process, and she underwent 6 months of unsuccessful helmet therapy. A repeat CT scan obtained at 10.7 months of age demonstrated the synostosis. All 3 patients underwent fronto-orbital correction at mean age of 12.1 months (range 7.8–16.1 months). The mean duration of postoperative follow-up was 11.7 months (range 1.9–23.9 months).

Conclusions

Isolated frontosphenoidal synostosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of atypical frontal plagiocephaly.

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Orgest Lajthia, Jerry W. Chao, Max Mandelbaum, John S. Myseros, Chima Oluigbo, Suresh N. Magge, Christopher S. Zarella, Albert K. Oh, Gary F. Rogers and Robert F. Keating

OBJECTIVE

Intracranial empyema is a life-threatening condition associated with a high mortality rate and residual deleterious neurological effects if not diagnosed and managed promptly. The authors present their institutional experience with immediate reimplantation of the craniotomy flap and clarify the success of this method in terms of cranial integrity, risk of recurrent infection, and need for secondary procedures.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis of patients admitted for management of intracranial empyema during a 19-year period (1997–2016) identified 33 patients who underwent emergency drainage and decompression with a follow-up duration longer than 6 months, 23 of whom received immediate bone replacement. Medical records were analyzed for demographic information, extent and location of the infection, bone flap size, fixation method, need for further operative intervention, and duration of intravenous antibiotics.

RESULTS

The mean patient age at surgery was 8.7 ± 5.7 years and the infections were largely secondary to sinusitis (52.8%), with the most common location being the frontal/temporal region (61.3%). Operative intervention involved removal of a total of 31 bone flaps with a mean surface area of 22.8 ± 26.9 cm2. Nearly all (96.8%) of the bone flaps replaced at the time of the initial surgery were viable over the long term. Eighteen patients (78.3%) required a single craniotomy in conjunction with antibiotic therapy to address the infection, whereas the remaining 21.7% required more than 1 surgery. Partial bone flap resorption was noted in only 1 (3.2%) of the 31 successfully replaced bone flaps. This patient eventually had his bone flap removed and received a split-calvaria bone graft. Twenty-one patients (91.3%) received postoperative CT scans to evaluate bone integrity. The mean follow-up duration of the cohort was 43.9 ± 54.0 months.

CONCLUSIONS

The results of our investigation suggest that immediate replacement and stabilization of the bone flap after craniectomy for drainage of intracranial empyemas has a low risk of recurrent infection and is a safe and effective way to restore bone integrity in most patients.

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Mitchel Seruya, Albert K. Oh, Gary F. Rogers, Michael J. Boyajian, John S. Myseros, Amanda L. Yaun and Robert F. Keating

Object

Controlled hypotension is routinely used during open repair of craniosynostosis to decrease blood loss, although this benefit is unproven. In this study the authors analyzed the longitudinal relationships between intraoperative mean arterial pressure (MAP) and calculated blood loss (CBL) during frontoorbital advancement (FOA) for craniosynostosis.

Methods

The authors reviewed the records of infants with craniosynostosis who had undergone primary FOA between 1997 and 2009. Anesthesia records provided preoperative and serial intraoperative MAP. Interval measures of CBL had been determined during the course of the operation. The longitudinal relationships between MAPmean, MAPchange, and CBLchange were assessed over the same time interval and compared between adjacent time intervals to determine the directionality of associations.

Results

Ninety infants (44 males and 46 females) underwent FOA at a mean age and weight of 10.7 ± 12.9 months and 9.0 ± 7.0 kg, respectively. The average intraoperative MAP was 56.1 ± 4.8 mm Hg, 22.6 ± 12.1% lower than preoperative baseline. A negative correlation was found between CBLchange and MAPmean over the same interval (r = −0.31, p < 0.05), and an inverse relationship was noted between CBLchange of the previous interval and MAPchange of the next interval (r = −0.07, p < 0.05). Finally, there was no significant association between MAPchange of the previous interval and CBLchange of the next interval.

Conclusions

Calculated blood loss demonstrated a negative correlation with MAP during FOA. Directionality testing indicated that MAP did not affect intraoperative blood loss; instead, blood loss drove changes in MAP. Overall, these findings challenge the benefit of controlled hypotension during open craniofacial repair.