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Sharif Vakili, Dane Moran, Alice Hung, Benjamin D. Elder, Lee Jeon, Hugo Fialho, Eric W. Sankey, Ignacio Jusué-Torres, C. Rory Goodwin, Jennifer Lu, Jamie Robison and Daniele Rigamonti

OBJECTIVE

A growing body of evidence suggests that longer durations of preoperative symptoms may correlate with worse postoperative outcomes following cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion for treatment of idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH). The aim of this study is to determine whether the duration of preoperative symptoms alters postoperative outcomes in patients treated for iNPH.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective review of 393 cases of iNPH involving patients treated with ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunting. The duration of symptoms prior to the operative intervention was recorded. The following outcome variables were assessed at baseline, 6 months postoperatively, and at last follow-up: gait performance, urinary continence, and cognition.

RESULTS

The patients' median age at shunt placement was 74 years. Increased symptom duration was significantly associated with worse gait outcomes (relative risk (RR) 1.055 per year of symptoms, p = 0.037), and an overall absence of improvement in any of the classic triad symptomology (RR 1.053 per year of symptoms, p = 0.033) at 6 months postoperatively. Additionally, there were trends toward significance for symptom duration increasing the risk of having no 6-month postoperative improvement in urinary incontinence (RR 1.049 per year of symptoms, p = 0.069) or cognitive symptoms (RR 1.051 per year of symptoms, p = 0.069). However, no statistically significant differences were noted in these outcomes at last follow-up (median 31 months). Age stratification by decade revealed that prolonging symptom duration was significantly associated with lower Mini-Mental Status Examination scores in patients aged 60–70 years, and lack of cognitive improvement in patients aged 70–80 years.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with iNPH with longer duration of preoperative symptoms may not receive the same short-term benefits of surgical intervention as patients with shorter duration of preoperative symptoms. However, with longer follow-up, the patients generally reached the same end point. Therefore, when managing patients with iNPH, it may take longer to see the benefits of CSF shunting when patients present with a longer duration of preoperative symptoms.

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Wuyang Yang, Heather Anderson-Keightly, Erick M. Westbroek, Justin M. Caplan, Xiaoming Rong, Alice L. Hung, Geoffrey P. Colby, Alexander L. Coon, Rafael J. Tamargo, Judy Huang and Edward S. Ahn

OBJECTIVE

Compared with the general population, the specific natural history of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in pediatric patients is less well understood. Furthermore, few pediatric studies have compared posttreatment hemorrhagic risk and functional outcome across different treatment modalities. The objective of this study was to elucidate these points.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed all pediatric patients with AVMs evaluated at their institution between 1990 and 2013. The AVM natural history was represented by hemorrhagic risk during the observation period. For treated patients, the observation period was defined as the interval between diagnosis and treatment. Posttreatment hemorrhagic risk and functional outcomes were also assessed.

RESULTS

A total of 124 pediatric patients with AVMs were evaluated, and 90 patients (72.6%) were retained through follow-up. The average patient age was 13.3 ± 3.8 years, with a mean follow-up period of 9.95 years. The overall AVM obliteration rate was 59.7%. Radiosurgery had an obliteration rate of 49.0%. Thirteen patients were managed conservatively. Four patients under observation hemorrhaged during a total interval of 429.4 patient-years, translating to an annual risk of 0.9%. Posttreatment hemorrhagic risk by treatment modalities were categorized as follows: surgery ± embolization (0.0%), radiosurgery ± embolization (0.8%), embolization alone (2.8%), surgery + radiosurgery ± embolization (3.5%), and observation (0.8%). A significantly higher risk of posttreatment hemorrhage was observed for patients with hemorrhagic presentation (p = 0.043) in multivariate analysis. Seizure presentation, frontal lobe location, nonheadache presentation, and treatment modality were significantly associated with increased risk of poor functional outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study of pediatric patients with AVMs, the natural history of hemorrhage was relatively low at 0.9%. Resection remained the optimal management for hemorrhage control and functional outcome perseverance in these pediatric patients with AVMs. AVM obliteration is a valid treatment goal, especially for patients with ruptured presentation, to prevent further hemorrhages later in life.

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Timothy Y. Kim, Christopher M. Jackson, Yuanxuan Xia, Leila A. Mashouf, Kisha K. Patel, Eileen S. Kim, Alice L. Hung, Adela Wu, Tomas Garzon-Muvdi, Matthew T. Bender, Chetan Bettegowda, John Y. K. Lee and Michael Lim

OBJECTIVE

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a neuropathic pain disorder characterized by severe, lancinating facial pain that is commonly treated with neuropathic medication, percutaneous rhizotomy, and/or microvascular decompression (MVD). Patients who are not found to have distinct arterial compression during MVD present a management challenge. In 2013, the authors reported on a small case series of such patients in whom glycerin was injected intraoperatively into the cisternal segment of the trigeminal nerve. The objective of the authors’ present study was to report their updated experience with this technique to further validate this novel approach.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of data obtained in patients in whom glycerin was directly injected into the inferior third of the cisternal portion of the trigeminal nerve. Seventy-four patients, including 14 patients from the authors’ prior study, were identified, and demographic information, intraoperative findings, postoperative course, and complications were recorded. Fisher’s exact test, unpaired t-tests, and Kaplan-Meier survival curves using Mantel log-rank test were used to compare the 74 patients with a cohort of 476 patients who received standard MVD by the same surgeon.

RESULTS

The 74 patients who underwent MVD and glycerin injection had an average follow-up of 19.1 ± 18.0 months, and the male/female ratio was 1:2.9. In 33 patients (44.6%), a previous intervention for TN had failed. On average, patients had an improvement in the Barrow Neurological Institute Pain Intensity score from 4.1 ± 0.4 before surgery to 2.1 ± 1.2 after surgery. Pain improvement after the surgery was documented in 95.9% of patients. Thirteen patients (17.6%) developed burning pain following surgery. Five patients developed complications (6.7%), including incisional infection, facial palsy, CSF leak, and hearing deficit, all of which were minor.

CONCLUSIONS

Intraoperative injection of glycerin into the trigeminal nerve is a generally safe and potentially effective treatment for TN when no distinct site of arterial compression is identified during surgery or when decompression of the nerve is deemed to be inadequate.