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  • Author or Editor: Laurence Davidson x
  • Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics x
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Laurence Davidson, Mark D. Krieger and J. Gordon McComb

Object

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the posterior interhemispheric retrocallosal approach (PIRA) for its safety and efficacy in the resection of pineal region and posterior fossa lesions in children.

Methods

Twenty-nine PIRAs were performed in 26 children between March 1997 and March 2009, and these cases were retrospectively reviewed. There were 15 girls and 11 boys in the series. The median age at the time of surgery was 7 years (range 7 months–17 years). Twenty-seven cases were treated for tumor, 1 for loculated hydrocephalus, and 1 for an aneurysm.

Results

Of the 27 cases treated for tumor, there were 20 (74%) gross-total resections, 5 (19%) subtotal resections, and 2 (7%) biopsies. One bridging vein was sacrificed in 6 cases and 2 bridging veins were divided in 1 case, whereas in 3 cases there was sacrifice of a single deep cerebral vein. No patient developed radiographic evidence of venous infarction. Approach-related complications were low, and included 2 cases of transient homonymous hemianopia. There were no surgery-related deaths.

Conclusions

This approach allows for ample access to pineal region and posterior fossa lesions, with low postoperative morbidity.

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Laurence Davidson, J. Gordon McComb, Ira Bowen and Mark D. Krieger

Object

The goal of this study was to review a large series of patients with Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) who had craniospinal lesions to assess the long-term course, outcome, and efficacy of treatment of the disease.

Methods

Forty-four patients with LCH who presented to a single pediatric neurosurgical department between 1976 and 2006 were retrospectively reviewed.

Results

This series included 29 boys and 15 girls, ranging in age from 2 months to 13 years, with a mean follow-up duration of 4.5 years. Twenty-seven patients (61%) had unifocal bone lesions, 12 (27%) had multifocal bone disease, 2 (5%) had solitary hypothalamic–pituitary axis lesions, and 3 (7%) had multiple organ involvement at presentation. Five (19%) of the 27 patients with unifocal bone disease and 4 (33%) of the 12 patients with multifocal bone disease had delayed development of new bone lesions during the follow-up period. The time to development of new bone lesions ranged from 1 month to 1 year. Two of the 3 patients with multiple-organ LCH died. Patient age ≤ 2 years at the time of initial presentation was a risk factor for both initial multifocality and eventual dissemination. In all patients with initial multifocal bone involvement or later dissemination of unifocal bone disease, LCH was controlled by chemotherapy, except for 2 who were treated by surgery alone. Three patients had histological evidence of spontaneous resolution of their lesions.

Conclusions

Patients with unifocal LCH can be effectively treated with surgery alone. Very young patients are more likely to have multifocal disease and disseminations, and will usually require chemotherapy to control their disease. Spontaneously regressing lesions need not be resected; however, a biopsy procedure can be performed for diagnostic purposes.

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Karen L. Fleming, Laurence Davidson, Ignacio Gonzalez-Gomez and J. Gordon McComb

Object

Intramedullary spinal cord lipomas not associated with dysraphism are infrequently reported. When present, they typically occur in children and have a predilection for the cervical and thoracic spinal cord. The authors review the presentation, treatment, and disease course in 5 pediatric patients, and compare the outcomes with previously reported cases.

Methods

With institutional review board approval, a retrospective chart review was undertaken at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

Results

Four patients with intramedullary spinal cord lipomas and 1 patient with a lipoblastoma, none associated with dysraphism, were retrospectively reviewed. There were 2 boys and 3 girls ranging in age from 2 months to 4 years. Four patients underwent a laminectomy or laminoplasty with one or more subtotal resections. One patient initially underwent a decompressive laminoplasty without debulking. The median follow-up was 8 years (range 12 months–11 years). Two patients had regrowth of their lipoma, necessitating a second surgery in one patient and 3 debulking surgeries in the other. Postoperatively, 3 patients developed mild kyphosis, none significant enough to require orthopedic intervention. One patient underwent a stabilization procedure at the time of the initial laminectomy and tumor debulking. No patient received chemotherapy or radiation. At the most recent follow-up visit, patients demonstrated improved neurological function when compared with preoperative status.

Conclusions

In addition to a decompressive laminectomy, debulking of the lipoma provides the best long-term neurological outcome. Gross-total excision is not warranted and usually is not possible. Long-term follow-up is needed, and repeat debulking of the lipoma is indicated if there is an increase in tumor size due to hyperplasia of residual adipocytes, when tumor growth is associated with neurological deterioration.

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Ramin J. Javahery, Laurence Davidson, Jason Fangusaro, Jonathan L. Finlay, Ignacio Gonzalez-Gomez and J. Gordon McComb

Papillary glioneuronal tumors are a newly recognized type of brain neoplasm characterized by prominent pseudopapillary structures and glioneuronal elements. All prior cases have shown that these tumors have an indolent course. The authors present 2 patients with an aggressive variant of the tumor. The first patient had dissemination of her tumor and the second had local spreading. Therefore, the authors conclude that papillary glioneuronal tumors do not always behave in a strictly benign fashion.