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Michelangelo Gangemi, Vincenzo Seneca, Giuseppe Colella, Valentina Cioffi, Alessia Imperato and Francesco Maiuri

Object

Endoscopic surgery is routinely used to treat intracranial arachnoid cysts. However, the indications and results with respect to the different cyst locations, compared with those of microsurgical fenestration and cyst shunting, deserve to be discussed.

Methods

The authors review 18 patients with intracranial arachnoid cysts treated by pure endoscopic technique in their neurosurgical department. There were 10 male and 8 female patients ranging in age from 2 months to 48 years (median age 19.4 years). The cyst location was suprasellar in 5 cases, quadrigeminal in 5, cortical hemispheric in 2, sylvian region in 3, and posterior fossa in 3. The authors also reviewed the literature, comprising 61 reports for an overall number of 645 patients with intracranial arachnoid cysts treated by different surgical techniques. These techniques included microsurgical excision or fenestration by craniotomy, cyst shunting, and endoscopic fenestration. The surgical results of the different techniques according to the different cyst locations underwent statistical analysis.

Results

The overall success rate (complete or partial clinical remission) in the authors' endoscopic series was 83.3% (15 of 18 cases), which is rather similar to that of 222 patients treated endoscopically and reported on in the literature (84.2%). In the overall endoscopic group, a higher success rate was found for cysts in the suprasellar (89.7%), quadrigeminal (88.5%), and posterior cranial fossa (83.3%) regions compared with sylvian (70%) and cortical and interhemispheric (75%) regions. The statistical comparison of the results of the endoscopic series with those of craniotomy and shunting revealed no significant differences for suprasellar, quadrigeminal, or posterior cranial fossa cysts, whereas the success rate of endoscopy is lower than that of other techniques for sylvian and cortical cysts.

Conclusions

Endoscopy is a safe and effective therapeutic modality for patients with intracranial arachnoid cysts. Cysts of the suprasellar and quadrigeminal regions and posterior fossa are the best indications for neuroendoscopy; on the other hand, cortical cysts are best treated by microsurgical fenestration or shunting. For sylvian cysts, the endoscopic procedure may be advocated in most cases.

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Giuseppe Cinalli, Alessia Imperato, Giuseppe Mirone, Giuliana Di Martino, Giancarlo Nicosia, Claudio Ruggiero, Ferdinando Aliberti and Pietro Spennato

OBJECTIVE

Neuroendoscopic removal of intraventricular tumors is difficult and time consuming because of the lack of an effective decompression system that can be used through the working channel of the endoscope. The authors report on the utilization of an endoscopic ultrasonic aspirator in the resection of intraventricular tumors.

METHODS

Twelve pediatric patients (10 male, 2 female), ages 1–15 years old, underwent surgery via a purely endoscopic approach using a Gaab rigid endoscope and endoscopic ultrasonic aspirator. Two patients presented with intraventricular metastases from high-grade tumors (medulloblastoma, atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor), 2 with subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (associated with tuberous sclerosis), 2 with low-grade intraparaventricular tumors, 4 with suprasellar tumors (2 craniopharyngiomas and 2 optic pathway gliomas), and 2 with pineal tumors (1 immature teratoma, 1 pineal anlage tumor). Hydrocephalus was present in 5 cases. In all patients, the endoscopic trajectory and ventricular access were guided by electromagnetic neuronavigation. Nine patients underwent surgery via a precoronal bur hole while supine. In 2 cases, surgery was performed through a frontal bur hole at the level of the hairline. One patient underwent surgery via a posterior parietal approach to the trigone while in a lateral position. The endoscopic technique consisted of visualization of the tumor, ventricular washing to dilate the ventricles and to control bleeding, obtaining a tumor specimen with biopsy forceps, and ultrasonic aspiration of the tumor. Bleeding was controlled with irrigation, monopolar coagulation, and a thulium laser.

RESULTS

In 7 cases, the resection was total or near total (more than 90% of lesion removed). In 5 cases, the resection was partial. Histological evaluation of the collected material (withdrawn using biopsy forceps and aspirated with an ultrasonic aspirator) was diagnostic in all cases. The duration of surgery ranged from 30 to 120 minutes. One case was complicated by subdural hygroma requiring a subduro-peritoneal shunt implant.

CONCLUSIONS

In this preliminary series, endoscopic ultrasonic aspiration proved to be a safe and reliable method for achieving extensive decompression or complete removal in the management of intra- and/or paraventricular lesions in pediatric patients.

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Pietro Fiaschi, Marco Pavanello, Alessia Imperato, Villiam Dallolio, Andrea Accogli, Valeria Capra, Alessandro Consales, Armando Cama and Gianluca Piatelli

OBJECTIVE

Cranioplasty is a reconstructive procedure used to restore skull anatomy and repair skull defects. Optimal skull reconstruction is a challenge for neurosurgeons, and the strategy used to achieve the best result remains a topic of debate, especially in pediatric patients for whom the continuing skull growth makes the choice of material more difficult. When the native bone flap, which is universally accepted as the preferred option in pediatric patients, is unavailable, the authors' choice of prosthetic material is a polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) implant designed using a custom-made technique. In this paper the authors present the results of their clinical series of 12 custom-made PMMA implants in pediatric patients.

METHODS

A retrospective study of the patients who had undergone cranioplasty at Gaslini Children's Hospital between 2006 and 2013 was conducted. A total of 12 consecutive cranioplasties in 12 patients was reviewed, in which a patient-specific PMMA implant was manufactured using a virtual 3D model and then transformed into a physical model using selective laser sintering or 3D printing. All patients or parents were administered a questionnaire to assess how the patient/parent judged the aesthetic result.

RESULTS

Patient age at craniectomy ranged from 5 months to 12.5 years, with a mean age of 84.33 months at cranioplasty. The mean extension of the custom-made plastic was 56.83 cm2. The mean time between craniectomy and cranioplasty was 9.25 months. The mean follow-up duration was 55.7 months. No major complications were recorded; 3 patients experienced minor/moderate complications (prosthesis dislocation, granuloma formation, and fluid collection).

CONCLUSIONS

In this patient series, PMMA resulted in an extremely low complication rate and the custom-made technique was associated with an excellent grade of patient or parent satisfaction on long-term follow up.