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Bruno C. Flores, Benjamin P. Boudreaux, Daniel R. Klinger, Bruce E. Mickey and Samuel L. Barnett

Foramen magnum meningiomas (FMMs) are slow growing, most often intradural and extramedullary tumors that pose significant challenges to the skull base neurosurgeon. The indolent clinical course of FMMs and their insidious onset of symptoms are important factors that contribute to delayed diagnosis and relative large size at the time of presentation. Symptoms are often produced by compression of surrounding structures (such as the medulla oblongata, upper cervical spinal cord, lower cranial nerves, and vertebral artery) within a critically confined space. Since the initial pathological description of a FMM in 1872, various surgical approaches have been described with the aim of achieving radical tumor resection. The surgical treatment of FMMs has evolved considerably over the last 4 decades due to the progress in microsurgical techniques and development of a multitude of skull base approaches. Posterior and posterolateral FMMs can be safely resected via a standard midline suboccipital approach. However, controversy still exits regarding the optimal management of anterior or anterolateral lesions. Independently of technical variations and the degree of bone removal, all modern surgical approaches to the lower clivus and anterior foramen magnum derive from the posterolateral (or far-lateral) craniotomy originally described by Roberto Heros and Bernard George. This paper is a review of the surgical management of FMMs, with emphasis on the far-lateral approach and its variations. Clinical presentation, imaging findings, important neuroanatomical correlations, recurrence rates, and outcomes are discussed.

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Eric S. Sussman, Christopher P. Kellner, Michael M. McDowell, Samuel S. Bruce, Simon G. Heuts, Zong Zhuang, Rachel A. Bruce, Jan Claassen and E. Sander Connolly Jr.

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is the most deadly and least treatable subtype of stroke, and at the present time there are no evidence-based therapeutic interventions for patients with this disease. Secondary injury mechanisms are known to cause substantial rates of morbidity and mortality following ICH, and the inflammatory cascade is a major contributor to this post-ICH secondary injury. The alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR) agonists have a well-established antiinflammatory effect and have been shown to attenuate perihematomal edema volume and to improve functional outcome in experimental ICH. The authors evaluate the current evidence for the use of an α7-nAChR agonist as a novel therapeutic agent in patients with ICH.

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Simon G. Heuts, Samuel S. Bruce, Brad E. Zacharia, Zachary L. Hickman, Christopher P. Kellner, Eric S. Sussman, Michael M. McDowell, Rachel A. Bruce and E. Sander Connolly Jr.

Object

Large intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), compounded by perihematomal edema, can produce severe elevations of intracranial pressure (ICP). Decompressive hemicraniectomy (DHC) with or without clot evacuation has been considered a part of the armamentarium of treatment options for these patients. The authors sought to assess the preliminary utility of DHC without evacuation for ICH in patients with supratentorial, dominant-sided lesions.

Methods

From September 2009 to May 2012, patients with ICH who were admitted to the neurological ICU at Columbia University Medical Center were prospectively enrolled in that institution's ICH Outcomes Project (ICHOP). Five patients with spontaneous supratentorial dominant-sided ICH underwent DHC without clot evacuation for recalcitrant elevated ICP. Data pertaining to the patients' characteristics and outcomes of treatment were prospectively collected.

Results

The patients' median age was 43 years (range 30–55 years) and the ICH etiology was hypertension in 4 of 5 patients, and systemic lupus erythematosus vasculitis in 1 patient. On admission, the median Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score was 7 (range 5–9). The median ICH volume was 53 cm3 (range 28–79 cm3), and the median midline shift was 7.6 mm (range 3.0–11.3 mm). One day after surgery, the median decrease in midline shift was 2.7 mm (range 1.5–4.6 mm), and the median change in GCS score was +1 (range −3 to +5). At discharge, all patients were still alive, and the median GCS score was 10 (range 9–11), the median modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score was 5 (range 5–5), and the median NIHSS (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale) score was 22 (range 17–27). Six months after hemorrhage, 1 patient had died, 2 were functionally dependent (mRS Score 4–5), and 2 were functionally independent (mRS Score 0–3). Outcomes for the patients treated with DHC were good compared with 1) outcomes for all patients with spontaneous supratentorial ICH admitted during the same period (n = 144) and 2) outcomes for matched patients (dominant ICH, GCS Score 5–9, ICH volume 28–79 cm3, age < 60 years) whose cases were managed nonoperatively (n = 5).

Conclusions

Decompressive hemicraniectomy without clot evacuation appears feasible in patients with large ICH and deserves further investigation, preferably in a randomized controlled setting.

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Geoffrey Appelboom, Stephen D. Zoller, Matthew A. Piazza, Caroline Szpalski, Samuel S. Bruce, Michael M. McDowell, Kerry A. Vaughan, Brad E. Zacharia, Zachary Hickman, Anthony D'Ambrosio, Neil A. Feldstein and Richard C. E. Anderson

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the current leading cause of death in children over 1 year of age. Adequate management and care of pediatric patients is critical to ensure the best functional outcome in this population. In their controversial trial, Cooper et al. concluded that decompressive craniectomy following TBI did not improve clinical outcome of the analyzed adult population. While the study did not target pediatric populations, the results do raise important and timely clinical questions regarding the effectiveness of decompressive surgery in pediatric patients. There is still a paucity of evidence regarding the effectiveness of this therapy in a pediatric population, and there is an especially noticeable knowledge gap surrounding age-stratified interventions in pediatric trauma. The purposes of this review are to first explore the anatomical variations between pediatric and adult populations in the setting of TBI. Second, the authors assess how these differences between adult and pediatric populations could translate into differences in the impact of decompressive surgery following TBI.

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Amy A. Ishkanian, Margy E. McCullough-Hicks, Geoffrey Appelboom, Matthew A. Piazza, Brian Y. Hwang, Samuel S. Bruce, Lindsay M. Hannan, E. Sander Connolly, Sean D. Lavine and Philip M. Meyers

Outcome after intraarterial therapy (IAT) for acute ischemic stroke remains variable, suggesting that improved patient selection is needed to better identify patients likely to benefit from treatment. The authors evaluate the predictive accuracies of the Houston IAT (HIAT) and the Totaled Health Risks in Vascular Events (THRIVE) scores in an independent cohort and review the existing literature detailing additional predictive factors to be used in patient selection for IAT. They reviewed their center's endovascular records from January 2004 to July 2010 and identified patients who had acute ischemic stroke and underwent IAT. They calculated individual HIAT and THRIVE scores using patient age, admission National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score, admission glucose level, and medical history. The scores' predictive accuracies for good outcome (discharge modified Rankin Scale score ≤ 3) were analyzed using receiver operating characteristics analysis. The THRIVE score predicts poor outcome after IAT with reasonable accuracy and may perform better than the HIAT score. Nevertheless, both measures may have significant clinical utility; further validation in larger cohorts that accounts for differences in patient demographic characteristics, variation in time-to-treatment, and center preferences with respect to IAT modalities is needed. Additional patient predictive factors have been reported but not yet incorporated into predictive scales; the authors suggest the need for additional data analysis to determine the independent predictive value of patient admission NIHSS score, age, admission hyperglycemia, patient comorbidities, thrombus burden, collateral flow, time to treatment, and baseline neuroimaging findings.

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Brad E. Zacharia, Kerry A. Vaughan, Zachary L. Hickman, Samuel S. Bruce, Amanda M. Carpenter, Nils H. Petersen, Stacie Deiner, Neeraj Badjatia and E. Sander Connolly Jr

Object

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is frequently complicated by acute hydrocephalus, necessitating emergency CSF diversion with a subset of patients, ultimately requiring long-term treatment via placement of permanent ventricular shunts. It is unclear what factors may predict the need for ventricular shunt placement in this patient population.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of a prospective database (ICH Outcomes Project) containing patients with nontraumatic ICH admitted to the neurological ICU at Columbia University Medical Center between January 2009 and September 2011. A multiple logistic regression model was developed to identify independent predictors of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus after ICH. The following variables were included: patient age, admission Glasgow Coma Scale score, temporal horn diameter on admission CT imaging, bicaudate index, admission ICH volume and location, intraventricular hemorrhage volume, Graeb score, LeRoux score, third or fourth ventricle hemorrhage, and intracranial pressure (ICP) and ventriculitis during hospital stay.

Results

Of 210 patients prospectively enrolled in the ICH Outcomes Project, 64 required emergency CSF diversion via placement of an external ventricular drain and were included in the final cohort. Thirteen of these patients underwent permanent ventricular CSF shunting prior to discharge. In univariate analysis, only thalamic hemorrhage and elevated ICP were significantly associated with the requirement for permanent CSF diversion, with p values of 0.008 and 0.033, respectively. Each remained significant in a multiple logistic regression model in which both variables were present.

Conclusions

Of patients with ICH requiring emergency CSF diversion, those with persistently elevated ICP and thalamic location of their hemorrhage are at increased odds of developing persistent hydrocephalus, necessitating permanent ventricular shunt placement. These factors may assist in predicting which patients will require permanent CSF diversion and could ultimately lead to improvements in the management of this disorder and the outcome in patients with ICH.